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Dan French, Industrial Communication and Control Product Manager at Anixter, talks about the use of pre-terminated (plug and play) network cabling solutions in an industrial environment.

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Plug and Play Industrial Ethernet Video Transcript

Hello, I am Dan French with the Anixter Industrial Communications and Controls Product Management Team.


Today, I am going to talk about the use of pre-terminated network cabling solutions in an industrial environment. The use of pre-terminated industrial cabling offers users and installers many advantages. So it's clear why they adaptation of pre-terminated solutions is quickly growing.


First, we will review how pre-terminated networks are being deployed. Then, we will describe we will describe the applications. Then, we will go into more detail about advantages and disadvantages of choosing pre-terminated cabling.


Pre-terminated fiber connections are factory installed and shipped with a small cover to protect the fiber ends. The connections at on ends of the fiber cable snaps together rather than performing a field cut and termination. When connections are made, they're simply screwed or snapped together creating an environmentally hardened connection.


Many solutions are designed with long, multi-fiber backbones with trunks that drop off and can be connected to fiber patch panels at different points in the network.


Pre-terminated copper solutions are twisted pair cables that resemble traditional cable styles except they are environmentally hardened. They can be run outside of conduit, and some solutions are even tray-rated. The cables are shipped with RJ45 plugs installed on each end and resemble long, industrially-hardened patch cables. The factory termination ensures that solid mechanical and electrical connections.


There are few situations where it really makes sense to look at a pre-terminated solution. One application is multiple deployments, such as several similar factories or remote pump stations.


Additionally, you may have machinery that requires frequent moves. A simple plug-in feature for both copper and fiber can reduce changeover and setup time.


Another advantage is that installation time is greatly reduced. This can improve safety for installers when they're working in hazardous areas. It also reduces costs when labor rates are high.


Finally, it makes a lot of sense to use this type of solution when you're deploying in an area where the technical skill level of installers is unreliable. With a plug and play solution that does not present the opportunity for wiring mistakes, you can have the confidence that your terminations are correct, secure and robust.


An additional advantage of pre-terminated solutions is that it's possible to do a rapid replacement when cables are damaged. This also means, that you would only need to make sure that the correct replacement parts are in-stock somewhere which could be considered a disadvantage.


Finally, easing and simplifying the installation has another big advantage of reducing termination errors. This means that engineers can have confidence in their Physical Layer when the network is being commissioned or troubleshot.


If you have any questions or want to learn more about this topic, contact your local Anixter representative. Thank you.