R&M, the global Swiss developer and provider of connectivity systems for high-quality, high-performance network infrastructures, recently participated in founding the Single Pair Ethernet (SPE) Alliance with Phoenix Contact, Weidmüller, Fluke Networks, and Telegärtner. These leading technology companies are bundling and exchanging SPE expertise and knowledge in a targeted manner.
Presently, the group’s main goal is to drive development of SPE for Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and collaborate on related technological challenges. The companies aim to accelerate development of their SPE technology expertise, ensuring this can be implemented in their products faster and more reliably. Recently, Datwyler, Kyland, Microchip Technology, Rosenberger, SICK, O-Ring, Draka/Prysmian Group, and University4Industry also joined the Alliance. The breadth of this lineup means the Alliance covers a wide range of industries, applications and application areas. Together, these parties are preparing the market for SPE.
SPE and its main application areas
SPE, based on xBASE-T1, uses a single twisted pair for data transmission and miniaturized connectors. SPE can replace the traditional field bus, helping realize high density, fast connections and ease of installation. It offers uniform manufacturer-independent connectivity instead of introducing connectivity for each application. Ranges of up to 1000 m and transmission speeds of up to 1 Gbps enable use across applications, and installation is fast and easy, aiming to reuse and extend existing cable installations.
Passive industrial cabling. SPE provides consistent IP communication from sensor to cloud, revolutionizing industrial data transmission. Standardized pin connector patterns form the basis for the barrier-free networking of a wide range of components and devices, providing an alternative to today’s fieldbus systems.
Building automation. Smart buildings and factories can be cost-effectively realized by connecting devices to the building management system via LAN networks and the cloud. Application-specific fieldbus systems are no longer required, making gateways, complex interfaces, and different protocols obsolete. SPE is an ideal solution for connecting numerous small sensors and actuators in Digital Ceiling ‘zones’. Sensors, controls, WLAN access points and other distributed services are simply plugged in and instantly powered and connected to the network.
Sensor technology. Sensors and actuators are increasingly supplying data to IIoT applications. SPE’s miniaturized, standardized connection technology makes it possible to quickly and easily connect smaller sensors to Ethernet networks and power these.
SPE cables and lines. SPE transmission channels can be created from a wide variety of cables and plugs. Channel parameters such as bandwidth, attenuation, return loss, and shielding dimensions are currently specified in the system standards (such as ISO/IEC 11801) and connectors and cables are tailored to respective channels.
Online education for SPE. Ethernet in general and SPE in particular play a central role in the establishment of the Industrial Internet of Things. University4Industry supports training requirements with online content dealing with various areas of IIoT, for example Ethernet APL.