In today’s industrial market, Ethernet cable is in high demand. With words like Ethernet, Ethernet/IP, solid, and stranded, making a decision from the different types of cable can be difficult.
I want to make it easy for you to pick the right cable to go with the network of your choosing. As a network, Ethernet is easy to install and it is easy to connect to other networks – you can probably even have Ethernet network devices connect to your current network.
So, let’s start with the basics…First, what is the difference between Ethernet and Ethernet/IP? They both have teal jackets (hence the title – The “Spring Line”) due to the industrial Ethernet standards in North America. So, the difference between the two is in the application. Ethernet is a good networking cable that transmits data like an internet cable. Ethernet/IP transmits data and also has an industrial protocol application. The Industrial Protocol (IP) allows you to transmit more data if you have a lot devices connected to each other or a lot of machines moving at once. Ethernet/IP resists against UV rays, vibrations, heat, dust, oil, chemical, and other environmental conditions.
Next, there are two kinds of Ethernet IP cables: Solid and Stranded. Solid is great for new applications that require high-speed Ethernet. The solid cables can transmit and receive across long distances and have a higher data rate compared to stranded. The downside is that solid cables can break, and do not bend or flex well. Stranded is a better cable if you have to bend, twist, or flex the cable. It’s also better if you have to run short distances. Stranded is made up of smaller gauge wires stranded together which allows the cable to be flexible and helps protect the cable. They move with the machine and will not break as easily as solid cables.
To recap, remember the four short bullet points below when choosing your next cable:
- Ethernet – transmits data
- Ethernet/IP – transmits data to many machines/devices
- Solid – good for long distance and little flexing
- Stranded– good for short distance and flexing
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CMA/Flodyne/Hydradyne is an authorized Balluff distributor in Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa and Northern Indiana.
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