Hybrid interfaces as a solution for Integrated Industry

Hybrid interfaces have been used in IT for a long time. Everyone is familiar with the USB or Power over Ethernet standard through which end devices are supplied with data and energy. The Integrated Industry concept means that these requirements are also being made of industry. HARTING considers itself a pioneer in this area and is developing solutions to meet these requirements.

Integrated Industry is increasing the movement of data on every level. With a broad portfolio of RJ45 and M12 connectors for data transmission rates from 100 Megabits up to 10 Gigabits, HARTING is well-prepared for these challenges. Transmitting data, signals and power at the same time changes the cabling structures used so far. HARTING's response has therefore been to develop PushPull hybrid connectors such as the HPPH which transmit both data and signals and is believed to be one of the smallest IP 65/67 hybrid connectors on the market. The mating face has four Ethernet contacts in Cat. 5 and three more for a power supply up to 5 A. The benefits are substantial: Easy to handle and compact with a wide range of different housings and versions plus a data interface for different transmission media, such as copper, POF and HCS.

As Industrial Ethernet becomes better established, more and more applications will require special configurations in the future. The simultaneous transmission of data and power in one cable and one connector will therefore become increasingly attractive. This can make the connectors themselves smarter and able to take on diagnostic and monitoring functions by means of apps. It is now the right time to define generally applicable standards for the connection of different machines, systems and components under the Integrated Industry concept. Companies currently have widely differing ideas, so we are consulting with users, manufacturers and user organizations. Applications in the area of smart power boxes which offer connection options for Ethernet in combination with a power supply are an indication of the way things are developing. In the field, this allows much simpler and less costly wiring for systems compared to the terminal boxes that are otherwise necessary. Data can be retrieved from field devices via an app in the box or OPC-UA, while the components can be supplied with electricity at the same time. The app also monitors power consumption - simplifying maintenance and diagnosis. Power over Ethernet has been used in IT up to now to connect Ethernet devices such as hard drives and WLAN adapters to each other.

As Industrial Ethernet becomes better established, more and more applications will require special configurations in the future.

The relevant IEEE standard 802.3af-2003 for the parallel transmission of energy and data via twisted pair cables has been established for years. With the PoE+ standard (IEEE802.3at) now available, HARTING has now more than doubled the power transmitted on its Ha-VIS eCon models to 34.2 W, thereby creating opportunities for new applications.

In brief

  • New possibilities for diagnostic and monitoring functions
  • One common connection for data and electricity