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Industry collaboration to establish new connectivity standard for IIoT implementation

18 November 2021

TE Connectivity (TE) recently led the establishment of a new Single Pair Ethernet (SPE) standard that enables companies to connect devices simply and cost-effectively on the network edge to make data-driven decisions in real time.

The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 63171-7 standard creates broad industry consensus on a power-and-data hybrid format that easily integrates machines into a network and improves power distribution.

“Manufacturers often struggle to realise the advantages of IIoT because their networks can’t communicate from the cloud all the way down to an individual sensor on a machine,” said Eric Leijtens, Global Product Management and Managing Director for TE. “This is why the new ‘-7’ standard is so critical. It helps us overcome that gap in data at the network edge by creating an industry-standard approach for connecting to physical assets in a production environment.”

As a founding member of the SPE Industrial Partner Network, TE led an industry consortium in recommending that M12 hybrid interfaces be specified under the new IEC 63171-7 standard. The standard now has the support of multiple trade groups and more than 80 companies. As one of the most common connector sizes in field-level applications, the M12 format easily connects to existing Ethernet infrastructure, replacing traditional fieldbus and analog solutions.

With SPE implemented at the device level, manufacturers can realise transparent, IP-based communication replacing the current solutions that are expensive or have reduced transparency. The hybrid configuration in “-7” cables also provide increased flexibility to distribute power across the network, instead of the point-to-point connections required in power-over-data lines.

Other benefits include:

• Long-term support. Standardising on the M12 format enables manufacturers to work with multiple suppliers, providing for competitive pricing and a decreased risk of production downtime. 
• Reduced complexity and cost. SPE only requires one cable to deliver power and data through a single pair of wires, instead of two or four pairs, reducing cabling size and cost.
• Increased data rate and power supply/ranges. The “-7” cable will enable power transmission up to 11kW/16A and high-speed data transmission up to 1Gbps/600MHz in one cable. It is excellent for high-power applications like DC servo drives, small three-phase drives and many others.
• Reduced electromagnetic interference (EMI). Separate data and power contacts reduce EMI.

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