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Industrial Ethernet is all about machines going online. It is about the convergence of control systems, data traffic and communication in industrial environments, traditional bus systems and universal office communication. This calls for a structured cabling of industrial plants along the same lines as office cabling. However, this particular infrastructure is exposed to extremely tough environmental conditions. The international standardization bodies have defined standards for data cabling in the industrial sector: ISO/IEC 24702 and EN 50173-3.

R&M offers a complete portfolio to enable you to operate Industrial Ethernet reliably. The modular, future-proof solutions offer an added plus in reliability, sturdiness and usability to guarantee the all-important high levels of availability. R&Mґs high-quality copper and fiber optic cabling systems can all be used with the same degree of efficiency, from office to machine, on 19" and top-hat rail platforms.

Innovative installation solutions reduce the amount of work required in field assembly. IDC technology and IP67 protection systems guarantee the best connections in tough production environments. With the R&M security system, users can achieve even higher levels of availability and protection against tampering.

Copper - RJ45 connectors

The RJ45 concept has established itself as the connector format for copper cabling in structured cabling systems. The RJ45 is also rapidly gaining ground in the industrial sector. Alongside performance, sturdiness and reliability are the two main characteristics required. R&M has aimed for the highest quality from the very outset of its development of RJ45 components, a policy that is now paying dividends in industrial applications.

Features such as gold contacts, tin-coated Insulation Displacement Contacts, automatic shield contacting, integrated tension relief, 360° shielding and tool-free connection are a guarantee of outstanding connections, even under critical environmental influences. In prin-ciple, any component that has proved its worth in an office environment can also be used in an industrial environment, where it provides equally reliable connections. The high-quality plug-in components are given added protection through an IP protective casing and elements of the R&M security system.

The IP67-protected, RJ45 IP67 connector for Cat. 5e and Cat. 6 cabling provides plenty of performance reserves for copper cabling with large bandwidths in tough industrial environ-ments. All-around shielding is built in from the outset. It complies with the requirements of the IP67 protection index as specified by IEC 60529.

Fiber optic - SC-RJ connectors

Fiber optic technology certainly has the edge on copper cabling in environments subject to strong electromagnetic fields, long cabling links in large industrial complexes, and in installations exposed to explosion hazards. With the SC-RJ connector system, R&M has developed a talented all-rounder for fiber optic cabling in industrial environments.

Never before has a fiber optic connector been more compact, more versatile in its applica-tions, or easier to assemble than the SC-RJ. With its 2.5 mm ferrule technology it accommo-dates every fiber type, in particular the PCF and POF types widely used in industrial applica-tions. The casing with its Small Form Factor Design fits the RJ45 cutout, which means that fiber optic cables and copper cabling can be combined on a single platform with a high packing density.

In its IP67 version the SC-RJ delivers Ethernet in any environment that is subject to constant vibrations and shocks, heat, cold, dust, water or oil. It complies with the requirements of the IP67 protection index as specified by IEC 60529.

IP protection

The R&M solutions for IP categories 54 to 67 (as per IEC 60529) and MICE environmental classes 2 and 3 (as per ISO/IEC 24702) provide security in the case of critical environmental influences. The Splash-Line range can be used to make RJ45 connector systems lastingly tight. The solution consists of the rubber flange for outlets and rubber sleeves for connectors. It complies with all the requirements of protection index IP54. As a result, the network connection is fully protected against water vapor, hot water, salt water, splash water, oil, any type of dust, and general air pollution. The IP67 solutions for RJ45 and SC-RJ connections consist of sturdy plastic sleeves with rubber seals. They protect the connection point even if temporarily submerged. The IP range is complemented by a wide array of outlets and casings.

Security system

What happens if the data stream is interrupted because someone has accidentally un-plugged a connector? In the worse case scenario production comes to a standstill. Industrial networks must also be protected against tampering and mistakes. Prevention is the best insurance policy against network interruptions and data loss. The ISO/IEC 24702 standard recommends creating the possibility of interface coding for data networks in industrial environments.

R&Mґs solution is modular, adaptable and retrofittable. The R&M security system is based on Smartholes, which are integrated as standard in R&Mґs platforms for copper and fiber optic connectors. Outlets and patch panels are therefore already prepared for the security installa-tion. The R&M security system consists of three levels:

  1. Visual coding
  2. Mechanical and visual coding, and
  3. Intelligent protection using lock mechanisms and authorization solutions

Top-hat rail mounting

In tough production environments top-hat rails are the tried-and-tested platform for cabling and distributors. The active nodal point ID (Intermediate Distributor) can be ideally mounted on this platform. The ISO/IEC 24702 standard introduced the ID into the cabling structure of industrial buildings. IDs can be arranged flexibly, and the wiring is quick and simple to complete. Outlets and active components fit into a protected box which can also be mounted on top-hat rails.

As quick-assembly solutions, R&M supplies both top-hat rail patch panels and top-hat rail boxes as well as the DRM45, a universal adapter with unique security features. With the DRM 45, installing data technology on 35 mm DIN top-hat rails is childґs play. The adapter simply locks into place. Copper and fiber optic connection modules are integrated just as conven-iently and can be replaced with little effort. The components of the R&M security system can be retrofitted as required.

Field-terminable connectors

Flexibility is the order of the day when it comes to setting up an industry LAN. Indeed, in some cases the situation on the ground can differ from the planning. A cabling link may have to be changed or an installation cable connected directly to an active device. Alternatively a point-to-point physical interface may be required. All this entails cabling solutions where the connec-tions are mountable in the field - ideally, without special tools. R&Mґs field assembly solu-tions for copper and fiber optic cabling provide the required flexibility and easy installation.

RJ45 modules and FM45 connectors from R&M combine to create a complete system for connections with four-pair twisted pair copper cables. Internally the IDC technology ensures simple, tool-free wiring and stable, industry-capable contacting. Externally the mounting frame and sleeves act as a protective shield to prevent dirt and fluids from penetrating - providing protection up to IP67 maximum.

For Plastic Optical Fibers (POF) R&M offers an innovative solution based on screw ferrules. They are used in the Small Form Factor (SFF) connector concepts SC-RJ and SMI. Screw-on technology is also available for SC simplex and SC duplex. POF connectors such as the SC-RJ with 2.5 mm ferrule technology from R&M are internally spring-loaded to secure the fibers in the precise, defined position. Variants up to protection index IP67 are available here, too. For conventional fiber optic connections, mechanical crimp connectors of the types ST and SC allow quick and simple field termination of single-fiber cables.