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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