Discrete and Process Automation

Standard industrial interface for SPE set

20 February 2020

EC standards committee SC 48B for connection technology has published IEC 63171-6, establishing the standard interface for industrial single pair Ethernet (SPE) applications and providing users with investment security.

The mating face standard IEC 63171-6 T1 Industrial Style was the first standard submitted by HARTING to SC 48B for a SPE mating face as early as 2016. "This early initiative is now paying off and 2020 users finally have a reliable investment basis for future-proof industrial internet of things (IIoT) networks based on SPE," explained Ralf Klein, managing director of Harting Electronics.

IEC 63171-6 (Industrial Style) is a complete standard document with all necessary specifications and test Source: Harting Technology GroupSource: Harting Technology Groupsequences, which is incorporated into current SPE cabling standards of the ISO/IEC 11801-x series of standards for structured cabling. The implementation of SPE in the ISO/IEC 11801 documents is very important because in this standard only, the cabling channels are described with all necessary parameters (length, number of connections, bandwidth and the complete set of transmission parameters including NEXT, FEXT, shielding properties) with relation to the environment — and can therefore be metrologically verified after installation. This connection of component standards to connectors and cables provides all users of SPE with clear guidelines for the construction and testing of appropriate transmission links.

The use of cabling components other than those described in ISO/IEC 11801-3 Amd.1, for example, is possible in principle, but then they no longer conform to the standard and carry the risk of incompatibility and loss of function. For this reason, ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 25/WG 3 and TIA TR-42 launched international selection processes at the beginning of 2018 to define uniform interfaces. These two selection processes were co-initiated by IEEE 802.3, which requested a recommendation for an SPE Media Dependent Interface (MDI) from ISO/IEC and TIA. More than 20 national expert committees participated in this selection process. As a result of this selection process, a mating face for industrial applications has become generally accepted: For industrial and industry-related applications (M2I2C2E2 and M3I3C3E3), the mating face according to IEC 63171-6 is based on the proposal of Harting T1 Industrial.

The selection process for TIA TR-42 has confirmed the results of ISO/IEC; there is thus a high level of global agreement on the SPE interfaces. These selected mating faces will now be incorporated into the respective international cabling standards. IEEE802.3 has also defined this SPE interface in the IEEE802.3cg as a recommended MDI.

Consistent standardization pays off. With IEC 63171-6, the last building block for a consistently standardized SPE infrastructure has now been set. IEC 63171-6, IEEE 802.3cg, ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 25/WG 3 and TIA TR-42 stand for the T1 Industrial Style as industrial SPE interface.

The SPE Industrial Partner Network, founded in 2019 and made up of 17 well-known technology leaders to date, is fully committed to the IEC 63171-6 standard and offers the emerging SPE user group a broad investment basis for IIoT networks based on SPE.

To contact the author of this article, email engineering360editors@globalspec.com

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