Industrial Electronics

SPE and real-time data top the needs for IIoT

04 August 2022
SPE cables are thinner and more flexible than Ethernet cables for ideal use in the internet of things and other applications. Source: AdobeStock

There's no doubt that the industrial sector is becoming more digitized. New technologies are emerging to help connect machines and devices, optimize processes, and improve performance. Altogether, this is best known as industry 4.0.

In this increasingly digital world, industry leaders need to ensure they have the right tools in place for real-time data collection and quick connectivity. SPE and real-time data are among the most important needs when it comes to industrial automation and motion control. Let’s go through why these properties are in such demand, and what tech is driving their development.

What is SPE?

Single pair ethernet (SPE) is a type of Ethernet cable that uses only a single pair of wires to transmit data. SPE cables are thinner and more flexible than traditional Ethernet cables, making them ideal for use in tight spaces or difficult-to-reach locations. SPE cables can also carry data at higher speeds than traditional Ethernet cables, making them perfect for applications that require high bandwidth.

Additionally, SPE cables are less susceptible to crosstalk and interference than other types of Ethernet cable.

While SPE cables are not as widely used as traditional Ethernet cables, they are becoming increasingly popular in applications where space is limited or high bandwidth is required.

What is real-time data collection?

The term “real-time data” generally refers to data that is generated and collected in such a way that it can be processed and analyzed quickly enough to be used in decisions that need to be made in the moment. This type of data is often used in applications where timing is critical, such as in the stock market or in emergency response situations. Real-time data can also be used to monitor ongoing processes and identify issues as they occur.

Organizations that rely on real-time data collection often have networks of cables that connect various sensors and devices. These cables carry data from the devices back to a central location where it can be analyzed. The speed at which data can be carried on these cables is crucial to the success of real-time data collection.

Cables are trending towards faster and more compact systems

As the world of manufacturing evolves, so too do the products that serve it. This is especially true for cables, which are playing an increasingly important role in motion control systems and industrial automation.

Cables are an essential part of any electronic system, providing the necessary connection between components. As technology evolves, cables are also trending towards faster and more compact systems.

The trend towards faster and more compact systems is being driven by the need for quicker acceleration and higher speed with more bending cycles. This in turn is due to the Internet of Things (IoT) and increasingly networked manufacturing.

To keep up with this trend, manufacturers are constantly innovating and introducing new cable technologies.

Combined power and hybrid I/O cables

As the demand for smaller, more nimble machines increases, so does the need for cables with a smaller bending radius or lighter construction. In addition, many new motion control systems are using Ethernet protocols, which allows for the transmission of data in real-time. This has made combined power and hybrid I/O cables an essential component in these types of applications.

There are many benefits to using combined power and hybrid I/O cables, including the fact that they can eliminate the need for multiple cables, which can save space and weight. In addition, these cables can provide greater flexibility in terms of routing and installation. Combined power and hybrid I/O cables are also much easier to troubleshoot than traditional separate power and data cables.

Halogen-free solutions

Halogen-free combined power and hybrid I/O cables are made without the use of any halogens, which are a group of elements that include fluorine, chlorine, bromine, and iodine. These elements can be harmful to both human health and the environment, so avoiding them is crucial. Halogen-free cables also tend to be more fire-resistant than their traditional counterparts. This is because halogens can release toxic fumes when they burn, making them a hazard in the event of a fire.

Recycling and sustainability

The most common type of combined power and hybrid cable is made from PVC. PVC is a plastic that is used in many different applications. It is durable and has a long life span. However, it is not biodegradable. This means that when it is thrown away, it will sit in a landfill for centuries. PVC can be recycled, however. It can be turned into new products, such as pipes and fencing. It can also be used to make new PVC products.

PVC is not the only type of material that can be used to make these cables. There are also materials such as polyethylene and polypropylene. These materials are also durable and have a long life span. However, they are biodegradable. This means that they will break down over time and will not sit in a landfill for centuries. Polyethylene and polypropylene can also be recycled. They can be turned into new products, such as pipes and fencing. They can also be used to make new PVC products.

Combined power and hybrid cables made from PVC, polyethylene, or polypropylene can all be recycled. However, there are some companies that prefer to recycle their own products. This is because they can often get a higher price for the recycled materials.


Single Pair Ethernet (SPE) and real-time data collection are both becoming more popular as we move towards faster, more connected systems. Our cables are trending towards these technologies, with halogen-free solutions and recyclable materials making our products more sustainable.

What do you think about cable technology moving forward? Are combined power and data cables the future? Engineering360 would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

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