A popular technology used in most office and manufacturing environments today, Ethernet is now making its move into real-time control applications in industrial settings, thanks to a recent industry collaborative effort.

Anixter and Rockwell Automation recently teamed up with Panduit Corp. and the Siemon Co. (data communications connectivity designers and manufacturers) to bring open Ethernet standards from the office environment to plant applications with the performance and compatibility that the industrial market demands. Through this collaboration, the companies have developed an industrial-hardened, commercial connector specification.

The connector specification, based on the widely accepted RJ45 connector, incorporates an IP67-rated seal and is designed to provide protection from moisture, dust, corrosion, EMI/RFI, vibration and shock typically found in industrial applications.

"This spec allows us and other manufacturers to more quickly introduce industrial Ethernet products, while providing end users with the level of consistency they need to integrate a complete solution," says Andreas Somogyi, Ethernet program manager, Rockwell Automation. "A connector designed after this spec will be a major component for designing IP67-rated EtherNet/IP products."

For a free guide on Ethernet performance and information on the installation and maintenance of Ethernet for industrial applications, visit www.anixter.com. For additional information about Rockwell Automation, visit www.rockwellautomation.com.