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The New Basis of Industrial Connectivity and Networking Solutions
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The New Basis of Industrial Connectivity and Networking Solutions
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The New Basis of Industrial Connectivity and Networking Solutions

    With the Industrial Internet of Things fast becoming the norm in industries, converging IT and OT technologies securely—

a cornerstone of the IIoT—is still the Achilles heel for many companies. Thus, choosing the right industrial network solutions for your operation, and this cannot be repeated

often enough, is essential. At the same time, this is easier said than done. Too often, this arduous task befalls an IT

engineer with little experience of OT protocols and automation systems, or, on the flip side, an OT engineer with no

knowledge of enterprise IT networking. In this article, we take a closer look at how new technologies are shaping the role of

industrial connectivity and networking solutions in your IIoT applications.


   



    Industrial Connectivity Needs—Now and in the Future


    Connecting your previously unconnected industrial devices and assets is the first step to enabling IIoT applications.

Accomplishing this task requires a thorough assessment of the types of OT assets you need to connect as well as the specific

connectivity requirements, such as connecting OT assets to a local network or a cloud server. Since OT assets in industrial

applications mainly use serial or I/O communication interfaces, choosing the right serial and I/O connectivity solutions is

essential to enable industrial connectivity. Moreover, you need to keep in mind additional considerations, such as

cybersecurity and large-scale device management, when connecting OT assets to remote or cloud servers.


    Besides enabling connectivity for previously unconnected OT assets, connecting all of these field devices also requires

building a network that can support information flows among multiple interconnected devices, systems, and even remote sites.


   



    Suitable Solutions


    With more than thirty years of experience in helping customers overcome industrial connectivity and networking

challenges, we have identified several key criteria for selecting the most suitable solutions for industrial automation

applications. Download our E-book where you can find considerations for each specific connectivity and networking solution

you are looking for.


   



    Before we come to the comparison between inline couplers and keystone jacks, let’s have a brief overview of these two

jacks. A small device for connecting two ethernet cables to make a

longer cable, usually called an inline coupler or RJ45 coupler. Inline

couplers do not provide any amplification or signal boost, and can cause attenuation and signal degradation unless they are

of high quality. There are cat5e and cat6 RJ45 inline couplers available on the market.


    People who have electrical cable installation experience know clearly what is a keystone jack. A keystone jack is a female connector for mounting a variety of low-voltage electrical jacks or

optical connectors into a keystone wall plate, faceplate, surface-mount box or

patch panel
. A keystone plug is a matching male connector, usually attached to the end of a cable or cord. Traditional

keystone jack needs a punch-down tool to help finish cable installation, but this toolless STP keystone jack is different. With the snap-fit cap design, conductors can

be terminated simultaneously when the cap is pressed into place, allowing for a simple installation without the need for a

punch-down tool.


   



    The eight-position modular plug uses insulation displacement contacts

that terminate the conductors and provide the contact interface surface for the mating jack contacts. These plugs are crimp-

terminated onto cordage or cable. With these new technologies, we are witnessing the conversion of many commercial building

devices and systems from analog, to digital, and now IP-addressable. The resulting migration of these devices and systems to

four-twisted-pair cabling represents an additional class of equipment looking to be served by versions of communication

cabling.



   



    A network wall plate is a cabling fixture attached to a wall in

a work area for connecting computers to the network. Also called a faceplate. Wall Plates can have RJ-45 jacks for 10BaseT

networks (which resemble household RJ-11 telephone wall jacks), BNC jacks for 10Base2 networks, or SC jacks for networks that

use fiber-optic cabling. The back end of the connector joins a horizontal cable that runs inside the wall or through a false

ceiling or floor to a patch panel in the wiring closet for that floor. Computers are then connected to the wall plate by a

short unshielded twisted-pair (UTP) cable called a drop cable. Wallplates typically come in mono-port, dual-port, and quad-

port configurations.


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