In some environments, you would find networking products being places in pristine clear air-conditioned rooms and offices. The installers would give less thought to the characteristics like switches, routers, and the cables which are used to connect them. But this kind of pristine environment is not present everywhere.
The industrial communications and the automation control networks are expected to work consistently and also reliably even under extreme conditions. Industrial facilities provide a different reality and the cables, routers, and connectors are an integral part of machine control.
Industrial Ethernet components are built safely and in a smart way so that they are tough enough to withstand hazards. And also the risks that they are exposed to every day. Ethernet equipment, as well as cabling, often withstands the following environmental conditions and issues.
Extreme cold could often make the COTS cable stiff and brittle and while elevated temperature could often degrade the plastic used in the cables’ construction. And this might cause attenuation.
Also, with industrial ethernet, industrial-grade cables would be a better option. Also, with this kind of cable, you could use a conformal coating which is also available for the humid or moist environment.
Oils, solvents and other cleaning solutions could very easily soak into COTS cables especially under heat and this causes loss of mechanical strength. Also, when you go for the hardware side, the chemicals might cause damage to the commercial switches. But ruggedized industrial switches are sealed so that no ingress of such chemical could happen.
Industrial grade switches would be able to accommodate 99 percent of the level of humidity. This could also be sealed to congregate the IP67 standards.
There are many chemical hazards that you would witness on the factory floor. And that too especially for machine automation cable as well as connectors. When there is excessive machine movement or vibration, it could result in the pulling of the cables or stretching of it because of excessive force. This would create stress among the pairs, and also degrade the electrical performance. Thus, while installing industrial ethernet, you should be careful. This would also increase the susceptibility to ambient RFI.
Thus, now you know when you would be requiring industrial ethernet solution which would be of the highest grade. For mission-critical industrial networking and also control applications, downtime is not an option at all.