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Final step to IP-based network connection

Slimming the path to Integrated Industry - thanks to SPE
Rainer Schmidt
Rainer Schmidt
Business Development Manager, Cable Systems, HARTING Electronics

HARTING is driving the standardisation developments of the new Single Pair Ethernet (SPE) technology forward. Now, in a multi-stage selection process, international standardisation committees have decided in favour of the Technology Group’s SPE mating face. This also ensures planning security for the designers of new devices or sensor/actuator technology, permitting them to actively commence the implementation of SPE in the respective device technology.

IP-based network connection

Single Pair Ethernet is a new Ethernet technology that requires only one pair of wires to transfer data and power. This technology, which is driven by the automotive industry, is also gaining increasing importance in automation technology, where its development is advancing in targeted manner. Due to its simplicity and an associated reduction in weight, space requirements and installation effort, a great future is seen for the technology within the industrial sector, automation technology and the rail industry.

End-to-end compatibility

SPE now also makes it possible to implement end-to-end IP-based communication, i.e. digitisation down to the field level. Equipping simple sensors via cameras, reader and identification devices, etc. with Ethernet interfaces supports the implementation of Integrated Industry and IIoT. The end-to-end compatibility of devices, cables and connectors is a prerequisite for the widespread use and consequently the successful marketing of SPE technology. The international standardisation selection has seen two mating faces prevail:

• For building wiring, the mating face according to IEC 63171-1: this mating face is based on the proposal from the company CommScope and is known under the synonym variant 1 (LC style) for M1I1C1E1 environments

• For industrial and industry-related applications, the mating face according to IEC 61076-3-125: this mating face is based on the proposal of HARTING and is specially designed for use in up to M3I3C3E3 ambient conditions and is known as variant 2 (industrial style)


MICE (mechanical, ingress, climatic, electromagnetic) describes environmental conditions for installations and provides planners and users with valuable information on the specification of technical equipment and cabling/wiring. As part of this, the requirements for mechanical robustness (M), IPxx degree (I), chemical and climatic resistance (C) and electromagnetic safety (E) are described.

In the broadest sense, M1I1C1E1describes an environment such as the one found e.g. in an office building, while M3I3C3E3 describes an extreme environment such as e.g. in an industrial setting or outdoor area.

Adequate power – also over 1 pair

Currently available Ethernet technology according to IEEE 802.3bp 1000Base-T1 delivers 1GBit/s transmission speed over just one double-core copper cable. At the same time, devices can be remotely powered via IEEE 802.3bu power over Ethernet – here, PoDL = power over data line.

However, requirements imposed by Integrated Industries or IIoT go even further. In order to develop simple, secure and efficient industrial communication of the future, the integrated connection of all participants of a comprehensive network from the Cloud to the sensor via IP-based Ethernet services is required. Here, SPE delivers the decisive difference to bus systems or power interfaces. Based on the mating face defined in the standard, HARTING offers a comprehensive product portfolio for the industrial sector. Prototypes of this new connector were first introduced two years ago at SPS 2016 in tandem with the two other connectors, the ix Industrial® and M8 d-coded. Following the standardisation of the HARTING ix Industrial®  the second connector now becomes the industry standard.


MICE (mechanical, ingress, climatic, electromagnetic)

The MICE concept comprises a systematic description of the climatic and mechanical loads. It describes the mechanical properties, the sealing properties, the climatic properties and the electromagnetic properties of cables: thus of mechanical stresses (M, Mechanical), the penetration of substances (I, Ingress), the climatic and temperature stress (C, Climatic) and protection against electromagnetic interference (E, Electromagnetic). The four cited MICE parameters are divided into three classes: Normal Requirement (Class 1), Simple (2), and Enhanced (3). The four parameters are individually indicated in the data sheets along with their respective classes, for example as M2/I3/C2/E3.

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