A white paper authored by cable manufacturer C&M Corporation discusses what it takes for a cable to support Gigabit Ethernet within industrial networks. "Adapting Gigabit Ethernet For The Industrial Manufacturing Environment" discusses construction differences between standard GigE and the performance specifications required for similar cables used in the manufacturing environment, C&M says. The paper also looks at other applications for cables with ruggedized designs.
Early in the paper, C&M lists the characteristics of cable and other networking products that are necessary for them to perform acceptably in manufacturing environments, but not required in typical commercial-office space.
- The ability to resist dust, solvents, oils and fuels
- Abrasion resistance
- Functionality in flex applications, such as C-Tracks, rolling flex applications or robotics
- The need to be flexible for routing around equipment or other similar obstacles
- Resistance to environmental noise such as electromagnetic interference
Elsewhere, the paper explains that the characteristics "flex life" and "flexibility" are not synonymous. "Some cable constructions may appear to possess limited flexibility, but perform very well in continuous flex applications, such as robotics," C&M explains. "Other cables may seem to enjoy maximum flexibility, yet possess a very limited life when it comes to continuous flexing applications."
The paper also provides detail on the following cable-construction characteristics.
- Conductor construction
- Jacket materials