Single Pair Ethernet (SPE) has already found its way into automotive engineering and will also open a broad field of applications in the industrial environment in the wake of Industry 4.0 and IoT. The technology standard enables power supply and data transmission via Ethernet using only one pair of wires with transmission speeds (AWG 22 or AWG 26) of 1 Gbit/s (up to 40m) or a data rate of 10 Mbit/s (AG 18) up to 1,000 metres distance. This makes it ideally suited for applications in mechanical and plant engineering, process technology, as well as building infrastructure, to bring Ethernet to the sensor level and enabling consistent communication. The cable specialist, Helukabel (cf. company profile), is convinced of the potential of the new transmission technology and has been involved in the SPE Industrial Partner Network since November 2019 (www.single-pair-ethernet.com). This partnership was founded in spring 2019 by seven original founding members to promote the industrial use of Single Pair Ethernet and is now actively supported by Helukabel’s membership.
Promising Solution for Industry 4.0 and IoT
It isn’t only high transmission rates and cable lengths that speak for the industrial use of SPE. The thin cables require less space, allow smaller bending radii and use fewer resources (plastic and copper). They are also suitable for smaller sensors, as the plugs and sockets require less space. Data and power supply up to 50 W can run over the common wire pair with Power Over Data Line (PoDL). If more power is required in an area, e.g. in extensive process technology plants, four-core hybrid solutions are available for data and power supply. Up to 96 W (at 24 V) or up to 392 W (at 48 V) can then be transmitted via two additional power cores. Since corresponding standardized connectors already exist, the course is set for a smart field level and continuous communication via Ethernet from the cloud to the smallest sensor.