What Is the Difference Between Industrial Ethernet and Ethernet?

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Ismail Saad
February 4, 2022

In the manufacturing business, Ethernet and, more especially, industrial Ethernet, have recently become common industry buzzwords. While they are similar, they have distinct qualities and advantages. This article will explain the differences between Ethernet and industrial Ethernet.

What Is Ethernet and How Does It Work?

Ethernet was created in the 1970s and is now standardised as IEEE 802. IEEE 802.—a series of Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) standards that specify the physical layer and data link layer of a wired Ethernet media access control—covers a group of local area network (LAN) products. 1 The criteria for configuring an Ethernet network and how the network’s pieces interact are also described in these standards.

Ethernet allows computers to communicate via a single network; in today’s environment, communication between devices would be impossible without it. Ethernet is a global standard for a network of wires and connections that connects several computers, gadgets, machines, and other equipment to a single network so that they may all communicate with one another. Ethernet began as a single connection that allowed several devices to connect to a single network. An Ethernet network can now be expanded as needed to accommodate new devices. Ethernet is now the most frequently used and popular network technology on the planet.

What Is Industrial Ethernet and How Does It Work?

Industrial Ethernet is just what it sounds like: Ethernet in an industrial setting, where more durable connectors, cables, and, most critically, superior determinism are required. Industrial Ethernet uses specific protocols in conjunction with Ethernet to improve determinism. PROFINET®, EtherNet/IP®, EtherCAT®, SERCOS III, and POWERLINK® are the most widely used industrial Ethernet protocols.

Data transmission rates using industrial Ethernet range from 10 Mbps to 1 Gbps.

However, in industrial Ethernet applications, 100 Mbps is the most common speed.

Other Ethernet vs. Industrial Ethernet Distinctions

According to Real Time Automation, Ethernet may be used in more offices than in industrial settings. Office Ethernet is intended for basic use, whereas industrial Ethernet can be used at numerous levels and in more demanding conditions.

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Photo by Leon Sokoletski

Industrial Ethernet is better suited to handling factory noise, manufacturing process needs, and tougher environments, and it can even withstand data collisions on the factory floor.

Industrial Ethernet technology may potentially use different cables and connectors. Connectors used in an industrial setting, for example, will not be basic snap-in lock mechanisms, according to Real Time Automation. Heavier lock mechanisms are required due to the harsher climate. Heavy-duty applications frequently require sealed connectors.

Commercial and office Ethernet cabling differs from industrial Ethernet cabling. The jacketing on light-duty industry cables may be of greater grade than that on standard Ethernet cables. And, as expected, the quality of the jacket around the heavy-duty wires and the metal used improves, making them more durable.

When it comes to identifying Industrial Ethernet and distinguishing it from Ethernet, determinism is crucial. Standard Ethernet is not deterministic in and of itself, however determinism is required in industrial environments. They require data packets to be sent and received at particular times, as well as assurance that data will be supplied consistently. This is because in an industrial setting, a loss of data or a delay in data between equipment might result in disaster—for example, a major error in the manufacturing process. When it comes to picking which sort of Ethernet solution to implement, real-time data transfer is frequently a crucial deciding factor. Companies must examine their individual requirements and select which Ethernet solution is appropriate for them. You can learn more about moxa Malaysia here if you want additional information.