01/20/2005 • Automation

Weidmüller 'Industrial Ethernet':

Ethernet is standard in office communication. It networks approx. 85% of all office computers. As far as automation is concerned, Ethernet is still counted as one of the younger communication technologies. In this case, 'Industrial Ethernet' has become established in the control and process levels. Now 'Industrial Ethernet' is continuing to move successfully down into the field level. With company-wide communication from the field through to the management level, this technology symbolises the transparent factory. Weidmüller has taken this development on board and is now for the first time presenting an extensive assortment of 'infrastructure components'. These have been specially tailored for use in industry, and are able to withstand tough industrial environments. The user is able to draw the materials and electrical equipment he requires to operate an Ethernet network from a single source supplier. That means laboriously having to gather the necessary components from different manufacturers is now a thing of the past.

Weidmüller has developed an intelligent selection guide to help the customer quickly find his bearings when selecting his components. The extensive programme of products has been divided up into the following sections: 'Connect', 'Convert', 'Manage', 'Install' and 'Protect'. The section 'Connect' contains housings in protection class IP 20 and IP 67, connection modules, interface elements as well as IE systems and IE patch cables. The section 'Convert' is represented by copper to fibre optics converters. Users can find switches in the section 'Manage'. Front panel interfaces, cable testers and tools are contained in the section 'Install', with overvoltage protection quite naturally at home in the section 'Protect'. The extensive programme of products for 'Industrial Ethernet' is rounded off by the corresponding accessories such as power supplies, cable entries for cables with pre-fabricated connectors as well as conductor and cable markers.
Right down to the last detail – 'Industrial Ethernet' components from a single source supplier

Engineered for use in industry, Weidmüller's Ethernet products are designed to harmonise and be inter-compatible. With Weidmüller's product portfolio, planning engineers and technicians can fully equip and install an Ethernet network.


The Industrial Ethernet outlet IE-XM can be installed on mounting rails. Mounted side-by-side on a TS 35 mounting rail, the modules form a so-called patch field. Potential equalization is facilitated via the mounting rail by a spring integrated in the base. The IE-XM functions as an interface module. Depending on the application, it is supplied with different inserts; these are: RJ 45/IDC and a fibre optics coupler. The RJ 45/IDC is connected with an Ethernet installations cable on the one side, and with a pre-fabricated standard RJ 45 patch cable on the other. The installation cable is connected by means of the proven insulation displacement technique. The patch cable is connected via an RJ 45 female connector. The module IE-XST connects optical fibres with one another.

More and more applications are being moved on-site into harsh industrial environments. Weidmüller also offers suitable Industrial Ethernet products for this field. These include installation flanges, junction boxes, couplers and plugs sealed to protection class IP 67. Finished in light grey (RAL 7035) the installation flanges IE-XM IP 67 or IE-X1M-IP 67 can be utilised as a panel feed through and fitted with either an RJ 45 coupler or with an RJ 45 module by means of insulation displacement technique. Utilising IDC techniques, the RJ 45 module is also suitable for use in the IE-S-IP 67 junction box as well as the IE-C-IP 67 coupler. Of course there is also a corresponding IP 67 connector available for the terminal box, installation flange and the coupler, the IE-P-IP 67, which is designed for harsh industrial environments.

With future requirements in mind, the concept has been designed to connect 8 cores in accordance with Class E (250 MHz) ISO/IEC11801:9/2003 and EN50173-1:2003.
When there is no Ethernet cable plugged, the installation flange, terminal box and the cable coupler can be reliably sealed with a lid. The lid is a permanently integrated component.

Weidmüller offers the IE-CCM connection module to join, extend and repair category 5, 6 and 7 Ethernet cables (up to 600 MHz). It is supplied with a fully shielded, zinc die-cast metal housing. In accordance with ISO and European standards, the module complies with Category 7/Class F (250 MHz). Two drillings are provided for wall or floor mounting. Cable connections are designed to utilize insulation displacement technology. Cable insertion including strain relief and 360° shield connection is possible from just one or from two sides.

The module IE-CSM splits connected 8-core cables in 2 x 4-core cables. Transmission properties: Class D link in accordance with IEC 11801 and EN 50173-1. The housing is made from an aluminium coated, impact-resistant plastic.

The section 'Connect' is rounded off by glass fibre, IE system and IE patch cables. The installation (Cat. 5e) and connection cables (Cat. 5e and Cat. 7) are available ready for use in various lengths with pre-terminated connectors. Special lengths are available on request. Grey patch cables (Cat 7) AWG 27/7 with extruded, reinforced cable insulation are of course also available.


Stringent requirements with regard to interference immunity – electromagnetic compatibility – or long transmission lines make it is appropriate to utilize fibre optics technology. The conversion from copper cables to fibre optics is performed with the help of media converters. Weidmüller's media converters IE-MC-SC and IE-MC-ST represent a reliable and cost efficient solution. These transfer the signals from a RJ 45 port to an optical port. Correspondingly, they are equipped with RJ 45 copper connections and SC or ST connectors for the glass fibre connection. The input voltage is 10 - 36 Vdc; 8 - 24 Vac and the input power is 4 Watt DC; 4 VA AC. Supply voltage redundancy is supported. The media converters are designed for installing onto TS 32 or TS 35 mounting rails.


Switches are the most important network components. They prevent data collisions, make it possible for data packets to be switched rapidly and increase data throughput. On the one hand, Weidmüller switches fulfil the requirements placed on Fast Ethernet with transmission rates of up to 100 Mbit/s. On the other hand, they are also backwards compatible with older networks providing transmission rates of 10 Mbit/s (IEEE 802.3) Speed recognition is automatic.

Weidmüller's unmanaged switches are Plug and Play devices for simple installation of Ethernet network cards. Configuration or parameter assignments are not required. The product portfolio comprises unmanaged switches with 5, 6, 8, 16 and 24 ports. Particularly interesting: the switch IE-SW5-ECO with 5 x RJ 45 ports. Specially designed for smaller applications it is simple to install and provides a cost-effective alternative to more expensive switches. In larger applications, the extremely compact '24-port' switch with a modular raster dimension of just 44 mm is able to show just what it is made of. Three variants are on offer: the IE-SW 24 with 24 x RJ 45 ports, the IE-SW 22 / 2 SC with 22 x RJ 45 and 2 x SC ports as well as the IE-SW 22 / 2ST with 22 x RJ 45 and 2 x ST ports. The middle range is represented by the devices IE-SW 8 with 8 x RJ 45 ports, IE-SW 4/ 2 SC or IE-SW4/ 2 ST. The last variants mentioned are equipped with two glass fibre connections so that signals can be transmitted over larger distances. The range with 16 ports also offers the user a choice between a device fitted with 16 x RJ 45 ports and two further devices fitted with 14 x RJ 45 ports as well as 2 x SC or 2x ST ports. Utilizing either a SC or ST glass fibre connection, the switches have a multimode transmission range of 2 km , and a singlemode transmission range of 20 km. The switches fulfil requirements for industrial environments such as EMC as well as resistance to temperature and vibration. They can either be mounted on a TS 35 mounting rail of directly onto the wall.


The majority of mistakes can be traced back to faulty wiring when the network is being installed. For this reason, Weidmüller offers the test unit IE-CT to test Ethernet cables. The cable and connection test unit is fitted with an RJ 45 socket. It quickly and reliably detects mistakes made during installation such as open circuits or wire breaks, short-circuit faults or if a wires have been reversed. The type of mistake determined is displayed in an optical, 7-segment display.

Until now, the user had to open the cabinet door to carry out servicing tasks. A service flap – by means of which the most common interfaces are accessible from the outside – would clearly be welcome. Weidmüller's front panel interface, a panel feed-through sealed to protection class IP 65 provides the solution. As well as offering various data interfaces, it also provides a connection to an Ethernet network. Thanks to this lockable front panel interface, devices both inside and outside of the electrical cabinet can easily be connected – without having to open the door to the cabinet.


The section 'Protection' is presently represented in the form of the overvoltage protection module DME100TX-4RJ for Ethernet Cat. 5. This innovative module reliably restricts the level of interference. Designed as a socket adapter, this overvoltage protection module is installed in the circuit – close to the terminal device to be protected. And because the connection is made using RJ45 female connectors, connecting the device to be protected could not be easier. Rapid responding suppressor diodes guarantee a high-level of protection for the signal lines. Device earthing (PE connection) is handled by an M4 screw acting as a floating ground system with a gas-filled surge arrester - and no potential transfer between GnD und PE. The Cat. 5 overvoltage protection module corresponds to overvoltage protection category III and pollution degree 2. Its response time is under 1 ns.

Graduate engineer Martina Bruland, product manager for Ethernet components at Weidmüller Interface in Detmold, Germany.
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Weidmüller GmbH & Co. KG

Ohmstraße 9
32758 Detmold

Phone: +49 (0)5231/14 28-0
Fax: +49 (0)5231/14 28-116

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