Ethernet cables are some of the most popular types of network connection cables primarily used on wired networks. With industrial systems taking dramatic changes and transformation, businesses are required to adopt new strategies in their industrial Ethernet connections. In industrial environments, we are seeing transitions to Ethernet-connected cameras, power electronics, computers, controllers, and high speed motion control devices. In order to accommodate the changes in industrial network connections, the design, installation, specifications, and testing of Ethernet cabling systems should be revisited. One inherent thing with industrial environments is that they tend to have harsh conditions and highly demanding applications. Here are tips that can help you when selecting an Ethernet cable for your industrial applications:

Get an industrially hardened cable

You too well know that the industrial locations can host harsh conditions like vibration, shock, heat, and crushing. The cable you use for the network system needs to withstand intrusions that may arise from debris, chemicals, and water. When we talk of industrial hardening, it implies giving the cables the features that allow it to withstand the harsh conditions. If you are doing  a network cabling for oil and gas, you know that the cables should have features that offer protection against elements such as heat, oil, water, and vibrations. And Belden Industrial Ethernet cables are designed to meet these challenges.

Have a cable with excellent electrical performance

In industrial environments, you may have too much electrical noise that is being generated by machinery and equipment. Usually, that noises is as a result of random fluctuations witnessed in electrical signs and they are likely to affect the transmission of signals over cable. While you may consider Ethernet twisted-pair cabling because they are common in industrial cabling, if they are subjected to bending, rotation, and stretching, it could result in gaps created between conductors thus affecting the signal.

Instead, you may want to use cables that have been designed with a bonding technology such as Belden “Bonded-Pair” technology, which makes the conductors have uniform spacing. The bonding allows the cables to withstand twisting, bending, and electrical noise thus maintaining the signal integrity.

Get a suitable connector

Even with the right cable, if you don’t use the right connector, it won’t work effectively. In harsh environment, there are special connectors you can use. If you are doing network cabling in environments exposed to corrosion and dust, then you want sealed connected. Again, if the environment experiences vibration, you can go for the screw type connectors which will remain fastened even when shaken. 

So you can see, industrial Ethernet cables should be able to work in the specific environment and for the specific applications. The idea is to ensure that the cable you get is able to withstand the damaging elements that may be encountered once the installation has been made. Remember these cables connect very important systems, which should not fail.

You can imagine a network cable connecting security cameras in oil and gas environments. These cameras should remain working all the time because they help monitor the environment and surrounding for safety of people working in the areas. In the event of an emergency, rescue efforts can be deployed fast, but that is only achievable if the surveillance equipment can transmit the information to the crew on the ground.

You can choose a Belden Industrial Ethernet cable such as 7938A Multi-Conductor - Category 5e DataTuff® 10 Million Flex Twisted Pair Cable for your application. This cable is made of bare copper alloy conductors. The pairs are bonded and consist of an insulation made of polyolefin. A polyester separator and an inner jacket made of TPE is used in the conductor. Additionally, the conductors have a Beldfoil shield offering 100 percent coverage. The TPE jacket offers protection against sunlight, oil, and weld splatter. 

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