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2 Oct 2018, 15:30

Making Sure Your Cable Choice is The Correct Choice

The engineers and designers of communication infrastructures always need to pay close attention to cables, connectors and switches. Make no mistake, each of these is critical components in their own right, but users of these components have to understand the entire network communication system as a whole to appreciate where failures are likely to occur. On top of that, consideration has to be given to the costs of these potential failures, such as the replacement part, downtime and repair costs.

In any environment. Communication and control networks are expected to function reliably and consistently. In extreme environments, industrial networks must be very durable as any physical breakdown or electrical failure of the transmission components could lead to loss of critical data, downtime or perhaps catastrophic failure.

It’s said that 70% of all networks failures are the down to network components and media failure, with operating systems at around 20% accountable for failure and the rest being made up of application programs. Hardware is the clear consideration in network construction with the cost is negligible when compared to system downtime which can, in extreme cases, be an enormous cost.

Network Failure Zones

(source: PDF file “1. Why cable is important_ST01_INCA_BDC_1113_E_EMEA_LowRes”)

Most offices feature an Ethernet network that has been installed in a clean and relatively hazard-free environment, all of the cables are tucked away in channels with network connectivity components placed in a safe protected location. Industrial locations are a different matter, the network components, connectors, and so on that are integral to machine automation and control systems are now in a harsh and possibly hazardous location. The answer lay in industrial grade Ethernet system components that are purpose-built for such applications and hazards.

To ensure the communication network from telecommunication room, through the factory and within the machine itself is the best it can be, designers need an industrial Ethernet cable solution that guarantees the highest level of quality, durability and performance. Ensuring their choice of cable can withstand direct contact with oils and solvents and cope with high operating temperatures, machine vibrations, mechanical hazards, EMI and more besides.

Selecting the Right Industrial Ethernet Cable

There are five steps you need to adhere to when selecting the right cable for your needs.

Step 1- ID the Application

(source: PDF file “2. DataTuff_IE Solutions_ST03_INCA_BDC_1113_E_EMEA_LowRes”

  • Control room/ Cabinet and permanent installation: In an enclosed environment where vibration is limited a solid conductor is the perfect solution, future-proofed with high bandwidth capability
  • Moderate Flexing: Work areas where vibration is an issue and cabling can potentially be exposed to solvents and oils, UV radiation, occasional rough handling, EMI and abrasion
  • Constant Flexing: Reserved usually for the machine itself where extremes of temperature and vibrations are very likely to occur, the cable must be able to resist high levels of torsion and trailing and offer excellent protection against liquids. (M12 with IP67/68 protection)


Step 2: What are the Data Requirements?

  • Up to 100 Mb/s
  • Up to 1 Gb/s
  • Up to 10 Gb/s

The table below will help you determine the right cable to use

(source: PPT file “step 2 final 1213”)

Step3: The Right Jacketing

The table below outlines the various jacket types that are readily available with their associated attributes.

(source: PDF file “2. DataTuff_IE Solutions_ST03_INCA_BDC_1113_E_EMEA_LowRes”)

Step4: Shielded or Not?

In environments with little to no EMI, or noise, unshielded cables can be used and as you would expect for the exact opposite situation shielded cabling is required. Within a shielded cable the inner cores are protected from noise by either a foil or braiding or sometimes both for extra protection from exterior noise.


Step 5: Conductor Choices

  • Twisted Pair
  • Bonded


(source: PDF file “2. DataTuff_IE Solutions_ST03_INCA_BDC_1113_E_EMEA_LowRes”)

Cables that feature a bonded-pair are better suited for withstanding the rigours of installation due to their inherent design. Their cables are bonded together along their longitudinal axis so no gaps can occur between the conductor pairs. However, a non-bonded pair isn’t as fortunate and during installation gaps between the conductors can occur along with impedance mismatches.

Bonded-Pair Technology

Belden has designed and created a specialist bonded-pair technology that offers a multitude of benefits:

  • Zero Gaps between the bonded conductor pairs, meaning that conductor-to-conductor centricity is always uniform
  • Uniform centricity offers extremely reliable electrical performance
  • Installable Performance® is achieved, the highly efficient bonding of the cable pairs and their exact centricity equates to an unsurpassed electrical performance, even after suffering from the pulling, bending and twisting that occurs during installation.

Belden has crammed all of their knowledge and expertise into The Belden DataTuff® Industrial Ethernet range of cable products, designed specifically for industrial applications. The DataTuff® range was designed to meet the highest levels of quality, reliability and the ultimate in performance. Engineers can choose from a wide range of products that are suitable for numerous applications, such as indoor and outdoor use and harsh environments. DataTuff® cordsets come complete with RJ45 and M12 connectors and offer IP20, IP68 and IP68 protection as well as meeting all data rate requirements from 100Mb/s to 10Gb/s.

The right cable choice at the right time can make all the difference between the ultimate success of your installation or perhaps the failure of it. Choose the right cable for the job at hand and you will never look back.


To Explore the DataTuff Range Click Here

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2 Oct 2018, 15:30