Industrial communication has many facets – from the automotive industry to food and beverage production right through to green energy generation. But regardless of the industry you work in, with our comprehensive connection solutions for industrial communication you will always find the right products for your needs. As diverse as the industrial segments and applications for industrial communication may be, they all have one thing in common: their requirements for connection solutions are constantly increasing. Not only are data volumes growing, data transmission rates are becoming increasingly important. Cables, plug connectors and switches need to transfer large amounts of data quickly and reliably, above all. In some areas, even small failures can have major effects and production lines only work efficiently if all components work perfectly together. Each application has its own specific requirements – from limited space to safety issues. Explore the application areas of our products for industrial communication and find the right connection solutions for your needs.
The Food industry is a very specific sector with a high need for automation. The food industry is usually compared to the automotive industry. There are several similarities, such as the strong focus on quality, production efficiency and end consumer safety.
Furthermore, guaranteeing and adhering to high hygiene standards is crucial. Human machine operators always pose a risk, which is why modern production lines are fully automated and use robots to process the products. Industrial cameras visually monitor the production process to ensure consistent quality and avoid any kind of contamination. In addition, scales and 3D scanners guarantee a perfect portioning.
All production lines must be regularly maintained. Thanks to modern technologies such as predictive maintenance, operators are aware of the current state of critical parts – particularly those subject to the most stresses, i.e. frequently moved, bent, twisted or treated with aggressive cleaning agents.
To meet all the requirements mentioned above, modern production lines require a solid and reliable data network with sufficient capacity to process large volumes of data.
Intralogistics is a rapidly growing industrial segment, which comprises a complete system for distributing and processing goods in distribution centres and warehouses.
These systems move, lift, cut, weigh, count, pack, label, track and load all kinds of stored products fully automatically. But all this is not possible without a reliable data network that is capable of transmitting and processing huge amounts of data.
Intralogistics systems are installed all over the world. All system components must comply with the respective local requirements and ideally be available on site to ensure the same quality when installing, integrating and maintaining the systems.
The automotive sector is one of the most automated sectors. All processes need to be closely monitored, as a small mistake can have fatal consequences. That is why every automotive manufacturer strictly controls most components. All machine suppliers must adhere to lists of approved suppliers and components. PROFINET is the most common communication standard among European automotive manufacturers. Each production line consists of different machines, devices and systems. And every application has specific requirements for data cables, such as maximum data transmission rates, Temperature resistance, Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC), bending and torsional resistance or Mechanical and Chemical strain.
Manufactures of Ethernet-based sensor
Sensors are the first data sources in industrial communication. Almost all kinds of protocols and communication standards can be used for data transmission from these sensors. Recently, an increasing number of sensor manufacturers have started to use Industrial Ethernet for communication. There are various Ethernet standards to be considered when selecting the correct Ethernet cable. Moreover, specific requirements regarding flexibility, Chemical resistance, material properties, CPR or approval must be taken into consideration.
Single-pair Ethernet (SPE), as a possible new market standard, could be the perfect solution for sensor communication in future.
Fitters and assemblers
Installers, harnessing manufacturers and system integrators carry out a significant proportion of data network installation in industrial communication. They make sure that all connecting parts are ready for connection or even make the final connection of the entire system. The system can consist of different protocols, standards, lengths and applications, which sets specific requirements for each element. Cable connections often need to be cut and wired directly on site.
Similar work is carried out at different times by maintenance companies. They carry out planned and, if necessary, unplanned repairs to defective parts. They often have to do their work at short notice and need fast access to compatible and available components.
Wind turbines have established themselves as an alternative energy source in many countries around the world. Wind parks can be built wherever there is a stable wind flow – both on the mainland and off the coast. Modern wind turbines can be controlled and managed remotely. Due to electricity generation and possible risks of electromagnetic interference, fibre optic cables are the preferred choice for data transmission in the tower.
As the nacelle follows the wind direction, the cables inside the tower are often twisted – this must operate in a wide temperature range and requires cables that are capable of torsion and bending.
Broadband ensures high-speed data transmission between cities and households. In the past, the connection was made using copper cables. Nowadays, this is done using fibre optic cables as they offer the highest bit rates. In new buildings, fibre optic cables are installed directly next to the household connections instead of copper cables. The cables must be suitable for both outdoor use and underground installation.
Modern bus manufacturers are affected by the increasing requirements for data communication in their vehicles. Safety in the event of a fire has also become a significant topic recently. There are various applications in city buses, intercity buses and motor coaches. These include information screens, ticket systems, payment terminals, cameras, Internet hotspots or multimedia applications. All this results in increased data volumes for which flexible Ethernet cables are used – preferably in halogen-free versions to guarantee passenger safety.
There are also additional requirements such as the R118 regulation and flame retardance.
The railway vehicle market is made up of three main segments: railway vehicles, system technology and infrastructure. Within these three segments, LAPP focuses on the first and the section of the second segment dealing with vehicles.
Railway technology deals with the conveyance of persons and goods. In order to protect people and property, the main focus is on high fire protection requirements.
All products used on trains in Europe must comply with EN 45545-2. Other regions of the world require different standards, such as GOST, NFPA 130 or CCC.
To standardise cables for rolling stock applications, standards have been developed in the past, according to which LAPP also manufactures its TRAIN products. LAPP has developed completely new products in the field of cables and has also qualified and tested existing products from cable glands, cable protection, cable marking and accessories.
To meet the demanding requirements of these standards, TRAIN cables are cross-linked and meet the most stringent requirements in terms of oils, chemicals, mechanical stress and UV radiation, making them ideally suited for use in harsh environments in other industries.
The cables for railway technology are called ÖLFLEX® TRAIN, ETHERLINE® TRAIN and UNITRONIC® TRAIN.
Electric vehicles have become a common method of transport in recent years and demand will continue to grow in future. A good charging station network will therefore be required in order to further improve the use of electric vehicles.
To control the charging process, modern charging stations need to exchange data between the various components. The charging stations are connected to the main control cabinet. This control cabinet adjusts the charging current according to the battery level and the available power to protect the battery and guarantee an optimum charging process. It also processes payments by card, user account or smartphone, monitors errors and arranges communication with the service desk if necessary.
Alternating current increases the need for Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) and can interfere with data transmission via conventional metallic data cables. This is why fibre optic cables are preferred for data transmission in this application.