Ethernet is the most widely used standard cable for local area network (LAN) cabling. Although transmission rates up to 400 Gigabit/s are currently specified, a maximum speed of 40 Gbps is possible according to the current state of the art ethernet cables. Ethernet cables are divided into (Cat) categories, ranging from CAT3 to CAT8. While CAT3 is generally not used any more, CAT5-CAT7 cable categories are common cables in the industry. Also derived from it are the Ethernet standard based PROFINET and ETHERCAT.
Ethernet is the standard cable in automation technology. Both mechanical engineering and image processing systems use Ethernet-based bus systems. The high data transmission also makes it possible to implement requirements in the area of Industry 4.0. Last but not least, Ethernet has become very attractive for mechanical engineering because this machinery can be relatively easily integrated into the existing office networking.
Ethernet cables are available for different applications. Often, Ethernet cables are fixed in machines and systems so that cost-effective cables can be selected with a solid conductor or a flexible conductor consisting of 7 strands.For applications in the energy chain, it is necessary to use Ethernet cables with fine stranded wires. In addition, a cable structure tailored to the movement in the energy chain is necessary, so that secure data transmission is guaranteed over the years. This is why chainflex cables have become established especially in equipment and machines such as robots, packaging machines, production machines and machine tools.
The chainflex cable product range from igus offers a variety of Ethernet bus cables. A total of 32 different Ethernet cable types are available in Cat 5, Cat 6 and Cat 7 from 9 different cable ranges for different application areas. All chainflex Ethernet cables are designed for permanent movement in energy chains. Depending on the requirement, different PVC, PUR and TPE outer jackets can be selected. The different bus cable series offer different performance levels, so that the right cable can be chosen for each application area to achieve the longest service life.
All chainflex bus cables have one thing in common. All chainflex cables are subject to the same quality standards. Here it does not matter whether it is a cost-effective cable of the CF888 range, or a cable for the highest demands and smallest bend radii as is the case with the CFBUS.LB range. This is why igus also offers a 36 month functional guarantee on all chainflex cables with service life of up to 10 million double strokes.
The topic of the maximum transmission length of bus cables is often underestimated. In general, caution should be exercised, as the maximum cable length can vary greatly depending on the type of cable. A cable for fixed installation always has a lower dampening than flexible cables, which is designed for permanent movements. As a result, the transmission length is lower than with a cable for fixed installation.
Depending on the cable range, chainflex network cables are mechanically designed for travel distances of up to 400m or more, but the data rate of the bus system decreases with increasing cable lengths. The Ethernet specification describes a total cable length of 100m however, 90m installation cable and 10m patch cable (2x5m) are provided. With highly flexible Ethernet cables for the energy chain, our experience shows that a cable length of up to 50m between two Ethernet participants is possible. However, this length depends on the cable category (CAT5, CAT5e, CAT6, CAT6A, CAT7), environmental conditions, and application requirements. For long travels we therefore recommend [link pagenr="20776" title="fibre optic cable"], which facilitates a cable length of several hundred metres up to 2km.
chainflex network cables can be ordered by the metre on a drum as standard, or cable rings from 1m with no cutting charge or minimum quantity surcharges. In addition, igus also offers these cables as ready harnessed readycable. Each chainflex Ethernet cables can therefore be ordered to any desired length and also as a ready harnessed cable. In the readycable online shop you can choose between different cables and connectors. Use our filter function to help select the right type of flexible cable.