IEC standard update refreshes guidance on SPE cabling and its installation

April 28, 2022
IEC standard update gives system designers and users a stable basis for selecting suitable cables and interfaces for the implementation of Single Pair Ethernet technology in automation applications.

As noted by GlobalSpec Engineering360, a search engine and information resource for the engineering, industrial and technical communities, the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) recently issued a new edition of the installation standard, IEC 61918:2018/AMD1:2022 Amendment 1 — Industrial communication networks — Installation of communication networks in industrial premises, which describes the installation of communication networks in industrial premises -- and now also includes important key points on cabling structures based on Single Pair Ethernet (SPE) technology.

IEC said the revised standard edition makes it an important foundation for all users seeking to bring their production capabilities into the industrial internet of things (IIoT). As reckoned by GlobalSpec, "the new amendment to IEC 61918 addresses the new 1-pair cabling structures for SPE and the associated remote power supply PoDL (Power over Data Line). This closes the gap between classic IT infrastructure and industry, internet of things/IIoT."

GlobalSpec's write-up of the standard revision further emphasizes that "SPE has a special significance for industry and automation. For the first time, it enables the universal application of TCP/IP-based automation protocols even for long distances, as in process automation or for the simple connection of sensors and actuators up to the industrial field level. Higher data rates, more power transmission and greater ranges than with classic fieldbuses pave the way for the IIoT and Industry 4.0," added the engineering site.

The standard's revision provides users with clear specifications for infrastructure components that are identical and compatible with ISO/IEC 11801-3 for use in industrial buildings. The revision's Annex 1 (AMD1) references the cable standards for 1-pair data cables according to IEC 61156-11/12/13/14, and the standard for the 1-pair data connectors according to IEC 63171-6, added GlobalSpec.

This designation gives system designers and users a stable basis for selecting suitable cables and interfaces for the implementation of SPE technology in automation applications.

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