New Edition of IEC 61918 Regulates SPE Cabling and Installation for the Automation World

Author photo: Chantal Polsonetti
ByChantal Polsonetti
Company and Product News

The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) has issued a new edition of the Single Pair Ethernet (SPE) standard IEC 61918:2018/AMD1:2022 Amendment 1, an installation standard for communication Regulates SPE Cabling and Installationnetworks in industrial plants, machines, and automation islands. Both cabling infrastructure and the components to be used, such as cables and connection technology, are defined in the standard for all automation profiles. Cabling solutions using fiber optic cables, symmetrical copper cables and wireless media are all considered.

The new amendment to IEC 61918 addresses the new 1-pair cabling structures for SPE and the associated remote power supply PoDL (Power over Data Line). This amendment is intended to close the gap between classic IT infrastructure and industry by enabling universal application of TCP/IP-based automation protocols even for long distances, as in process automation or for connecting sensors and actuators up to the industrial field level. SPE promises higher data rates, more power transmission, and greater ranges than with classic fieldbuses and paves the way for the industrial IoT and Industry 4.0.

The new amendment provides specifications for infrastructure components that are identical and compatible with ISO/IEC 11801-3 (industrial buildings). Annex 1 (AMD1) references the cable standards for 1-pair data cables according to IEC 61156-11/12/13/14 and the standard for the 1-pair data connectors according to IEC 63171-6. This gives system designers and users a stable basis for selecting suitable cables and interfaces so the implementation of SPE technology in the automation world can begin.

The new version of IEC 61918 provides a normative description of how and with which components a sensor-to-cloud data infrastructure in industrial applications can look, with IEC 61918 as a common denominator that can be used across industrial automation network profiles.

No matter whether PROFINET, EtherCAT or other Industrial Ethernet protocols - this new IEC 61918 is a common denominator for all automation profiles

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