How to Choose the Right Industrial Ethernet and USB Cables

USB Cable illustration

Industrial USB Cables replace serial adapters and cables. These cables plug into a USB port on a computer and are designed to simplify the installation of switches.

If you’re not sure which type of cable to purchase, read on to learn about the different options available. After you’ve read this article, you’ll be well on your way to choosing the right industrial USB Cable for your needs. Here are some examples:

Light-Duty vs. Heavy-Duty

There are two types of industrial Ethernet or LAN cables: light and heavy. Light duty industrial cables often feature higher-quality jacketing than heavy-duty industrial cables. Heavy-duty cables are more durable and are constructed of thicker, more complex jackets and metals. As a result, they are generally more expensive.

They should only be used when the environment requires them. Light duty industrial LAN cables are typically less expensive than their heavy-duty counterparts. When purchasing an industrial LAN cable, make sure to check the durability of the wires. Usually, these cables are made of solid copper or stranded copper.

However, there are some manufacturers who manufacture cheap versions of these cables using Copper Clad Aluminum, which is actually an aluminum conductor coated with copper. While this may be cheaper to produce, it results in a weaker cable that is not as durable as a solid copper cable. Heavy-duty industrial Ethernet cables are typically designed for harsher environments and noise.

These cables may require stronger locks and connectors due to their size and weight. Heavy-duty industrial Ethernet cables can withstand high temperatures and may be prone to data collisions. The connectors used for these cables like the ones here: may be more resistant to corrosion. Besides heavy-duty industrial LAN cables, light-duty industrial LAN cables are also made of a flexible, lighter material.

Industrial LAN cables are also available in stranded and solid construction. Solid-duty industrial Ethernet cables are ideal for patch cords in the commercial environment, while stranded cables are designed for ruggedness and flexibility. For example, industrial environments often involve bending and flexing cables, including robotics. A stranded cable will withstand repetitive motion and bending and the length of the cable is also a factor.

Shielded vs. Unshielded

Whether you need a shielded or unshielded industrial Ethernet cable depends on the situation in which you will use it. The most common environment is a building, and most LAN cables are used indoors.

Unshielded industrial LAN cables, on the other hand, can be used outdoors. Shielded cables are waterproof and animal resistant, but unshielded ones are not buried. Shielded industrial LAN cables are more expensive than unshielded cables, but they have a number of advantages.

They have longer life expectancies and can be used for large scale installations, and their reduced overall costs are beneficial in terms of total cost of ownership. In addition to shielding, these cables can also be used in next-generation cabling systems that exceed 10 gigabits per second.

There are several pros and cons to shielded industrial LAN cables. The main difference is the type of shielding material. Shielded cables can be up to 10 Gbps, while the same length of an unshielded cable will experience higher data transmission errors. In addition, shielded cables provide more protection against electromagnetic interference (EMI).

In addition to shielding, industrial Ethernet cables are less susceptible to the harmful effects of electromagnetic interference, which you can learn about here: Because of the nature of factory floors, electrical noise from power lines and large magnets can interfere with sensitive electronic equipment. Shielded cables reduce or eliminate EMI.

Cat 6 and Cat 8 industrial Ethernet cables are shielded to reduce electromagnetic interference (EMI). They also perform better throughout expansive business networks. They are convenient for upgrading from un-shielded to Cat6 compatible devices. Shielded industrial LAN USB and other cables

X-Coded vs. A-D-Coded

There are two types of connectors available on industrial LAN networks, A-D-Coded and X-Coded. D-coded cables are typically used in network connections, providing three to five pins. X-coded cables, on the other hand, have a cross configuration that reduces crosstalk and maintains signal integrity.

X-Coded connectors are more durable than A-D-Coded cables. They are also available in more colors. Industrial Ethernet cables made of A-D-Coded connectors are compatible with both A-D-Coded and X-Coded equipment. The difference between A-D-Coded and X-Coded connectors can be frustrating but luckily, there are a number of good solutions to the problem.

When choosing industrial LAN cable, it’s important to select the proper coding. A-D-coded cables are recommended for applications that need low-bandwidth connections. X-coded cables are more expensive. A-D-Coded cables are suitable for low-speed industrial applications. X-Coded cables are suited for high-speed industrial LAN.

X-Coded industrial LAN cables are better for demanding applications where long-range data transmission is essential. X-Coded connectors have higher data-rates than A-D-coded cables. X-Coded cables also feature better signal-quality and are more durable. Some cables use both types of connectors for industrial automation applications.

Coded connectors

Solid-Conductor vs. Stranded

When you’re choosing a cable, solid conductor or stranded construction is a key consideration. Stranded cable consists of multiple strands of wire wrapped around one another, while solid cable has a single solid copper wire per conductor.

While each has its advantages, there are some key differences between the two types. You can continue on to discover the differences between these two types of cables. Solid conductor cables are designed for longer, horizontal runs and are ideally used for backbone installations.

These cables provide superior electrical performance and are more stable than stranded ones, enabling them to support higher data rates and longer distances. However, this increased flexibility does come with some disadvantages. Solid conductor cables are not flexible and cannot be bent repeatedly, limiting their application and network performance. Another main difference between solid and stranded cables is the way they route. Stranded cables are easy to route, while solid cables are more difficult. Stranded cables are also more flexible, allowing them to withstand tremendous vibrations without breaking. They also don’t need frequent replacements, unlike solid cables.