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Industrial Ethernet cable: a vital link in the IIoT

ByDan Giebel

Contributing author:Matthew Tarney, LUTZE Product Market Manager, Cable + Connectivity

Data collection and analytics have become increasingly important in modern manufacturing. To realize the benefits of big data, industrial machinery must communicate with other devices quickly and reliably. Traditionally, communication was limited to controlling the manufacturing process itself, and was realized with a wide range of proprietary fieldbus systems. As the type and amount of industrial data has increased, the need for real-time Ethernet based systems has grown. However, the Ethernet protocol was originally designed as an office or infrastructure system, and in order to work with machinery, it had to be updated and upgraded for use in the industrial environment. Ethernet technology has vastly improved over time, has gained a strong foothold in industrial automation, and today is more widely used than traditional fieldbus communication systems. Ethernet connectivity is routinely integrated into machine-level applications to gather and interpret data from drives, motors, PLCs, sensors, and more.


>Utilizing Ethernet to communicate in a manufacturing environment is commonly referred to as the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). In Europe, the term “Industry 4.0” is often used, which refers to the fourth industrial revolution. This idea originated in Germany and describes how communication and data collection among machinery is transforming the way we manufacture goods today.

Cable is often considered an afterthought when designing an automation system, but in IIoT applications cable plays a vital role, ensuring the reliable transmission of critical manufacturing data. Environmental concerns such as electrical noise, exposure to oil and chemicals and changes in temperature or vibration can cause data loss or improper function of the network. Rugged industrial cables and connectors are different from the ones used in office or home networks, because they have been specifically designed to withstand the harsh physical and electrical environments encountered on the plant floor.

LUTZE offers a wide variety of industrial grade cables and connectors for static, flexing, and torsional applications ranging from CAT 5e to Cat 7.

To learn more about LUTZE cables, visit their website HERE or visit Contact your account manager or call 1-800-776-8222 for additional details or questions.

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