Twelve Common Industrial Ethernet Mistakes


Whether you’re a process or plant engineer, a technician, or an electrician, you’ve got to be an expert in a wide array of areas today–including Industrial Ethernet (IE). Sooner or later, you’re going to run into a problem caused by others who aren’t as well-versed in the vagaries of this networking technology. Here are the worst problems that you may face when dealing with Industrial Ethernet. Hopefully, you can find and correct them (or, better yet, avoid them) before they lead to plant downtime.

Careless cable routing.

Some cabling is designed to handle the worst of all the MICE (mechanical, ingress, climatic, and electromagnetic) environments, so you can be a little looser in how you route that cable. In most instances, however, cabling has some limitations, and you need to be aware of those limitations when routing it. Is it too close to electromagnetic interference sources like Variable Frequency Motor Drives (VFD)? Are there areas where it will get too hot or exposed to harsh chemicals or just plain water? The worst part about making this mistake is that the cable will function properly—until things change just enough to cause a failure.

Not testing cabling before installing a new line.

Verifying your cabling can save hours of time when you’re installing and starting a new system. While a quick check of the cable takes only seconds, problems like an improperly terminated connector, or a cable that’s too long or susceptible to EMI can take hours to troubleshoot and lead to finger-pointing and project delays.

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