Industrial Automation with Single-Pair Ethernet

Efficiency is the fundamental concern for the successful implementation of any factory automation solution. For this, it is necessary to implement control and power components that consume the least possible amount of energy over their lifetime. However, for the actual realization of those savings, it is necessary for proper installation of the system.

This is where the advantages of the SPE or Single Pair Ethernet technology really come across. The technology transfers power and data over the same thin-wire cable. Not only does this save installation costs up-front, but it takes much less to maintain and upgrade the system over time. Phoenix Contact offers their ONEPAIR series for standardized SPE solutions. The ONEPAIR series has two main types of connectors, and they each serve a specific application.

In numerous industries and fields, the IP20 connectors and patch cables enable effective data transmission. This includes building and factory automation, where it is common to achieve a transmission rate of 1 Gbps for a distance of 1000 meters.

The other is the M8 device connectors, rated at IP67. They can transmit power and data safely and quickly from the OT to the IT. This is a new standard in compact connections, which can withstand harsh environments.

SPE or single-power Ethernet is high-performance, parallel transmission of power and data via Ethernet over a single pair of wires. The technology typically carries data and power through PoDL or Power over Data Line starting from the sensor and carrying through right up to the cloud. For barrier-free networking of a wide range of connectors, cables, and components, it is necessary to deploy connectors with standardized pin patterns. For this, Phoenix Contact offers standard connectors, ranging from IP20 to IP6x.

Apart from being ideally suited for a wide range of applications, the SPE is the basis for all Ethernet-based communication. Not only does it enable smart device communication, but it also opens up newer fields of application. SPE has great transmission properties, can span long distances, and optimally supports future-proof network communications. With a trend for miniaturized, resource-conserving devices, SPE offers space-saving cables and electronics.

SPE brings many benefits to its users. It can provide transmission speeds of over 10 Gbps over a single pair of wires. This helps to reduce data cabling while avoiding media breakdowns and device failures, from the field to the cloud. The user has the freedom to establish networking with a consistent structure base of Ethernet, eliminating the need for gateways. With SPE, the cabling is easier and saves time, as the user needs to guide and connect only two wires. They can use the 10Base-TIL standard Ethernet cabling for ranges up to 1000 meters.

The IEEE 802.3 defines the SPE standards. Presently, there are five standards for different transmission speeds and distances. Further standards are under discussion. The IP20 compact male connector series from Phoenix Contact are in accordance with IEC 63171-2 and are ideally suited for building and control cabinet cabling. The M8 or IP67 contacts from Phoenix Contact are in accordance with IEC 63171-5, providing robust and industrial-grade connections.