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Cross-industry and cross-application alliance for Single Pair Ethernet technology

27 May 2020

The technology partnership between Phoenix Contact, Weidmüller, Reichle & De-Massari (R&M), Fluke Networks, and Telegärtner for the Single Pair Ethernet (SPE) has progressed to create the SPE System Alliance. Find out more about this collaboration.

The newly formed SPE System Alliance consists of leading technology companies from various industries and fields of application who have come together to bundle their respective SPE expertise and ensure the target-oriented exchange of this knowledge. The partners in this group are pursuing the goal of driving the development of SPE further forward for the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and may branch out to other areas as well. 

The System Alliance has most recently been joined by Datwyler, Kyland, Microchip Technology, Rosenberger, SICK, O-Ring, Draka/Prysmian Group, and University 4 Industry. 

Synergies in the SPE System Alliance
The network aims to collaborate on the technological challenges faced when implementing SPE in IIoT applications. The goal of the companies is to accelerate their own development of expertise in SPE technology and to allow it to be implemented faster and more reliably in their products.

Through this orientation toward a cross-industry and cross-application exchange platform, companies from all future SPE ecosystems are coming together. The focus is not, however, on individual aspects such as connection technology. Instead, the focus is on questions and challenges that continue to exist with many market participants in connection with SPE. Rule exchange formats and collaborative project activities provide the freedom for close cooperation. The members are already working together in the first sub-communities, in the fields of connection technology, standardisation, SPE use-case reports, and even for cable solutions, among others.

Commenting on the alliance, Torsten Janwelcke, President Business Area Device Connectors at Phoenix Contact, said: “SPE is one of the mega trends in industrial data processing for end-to-end IP-based networking from the sensor to the cloud. The Single Pair Ethernet technology therefore not only includes all infrastructure components of industrial network technology, such as connectors, cables, PHYs, sensors, switches and other devices, but will find its application in many different areas. This is exactly where the SPE System Alliance comes in. The exchange of members takes place across industries and applications and is not limited to one aspect, such as connection technology. All participating companies can contribute their expertise in the various working groups and thus also benefit from the exchange. The contribution of Phoenix Contact in the Alliance refers in particular to the part of connection technology and switches. Here, we contribute, among other things, findings on the newly developed M8 SPE connector, which is highly relevant for the connection of sensors and thus for the implementation of IIoT and SPE.”

Thanks to its broad lineup, the SPE System Alliance already covers a large range of applications and fields of application: For example, within the automotive industry Ethernet systems are increasingly being employed within vehicles. Meanwhile, for the passive industrial cabling field of connectivity SPE can provide consistent IP communication from the field level right through to the corporate level, and therefore from the sensor through to the cloud. 

Further, in sensor technology, in addition to their use in classic automation technology, sensors are increasingly being integrated as intelligent data suppliers into IIoT applications via Ethernet networks. Due to the miniaturisation of the connection technology that has become possible with SPE, smaller sensors can also be connected to Ethernet networks. Combining SPE with the power supply over the data line means that additional plug connections to the voltage supply are no longer needed. Moreover, the use of SPE as the standard interface allows device manufacturers to provide an optimised range of devices with fewer versions.

The SPE System Alliance is an open platform for companies that want to further advance SPE technology on the market. Details and options for contacting the System Alliance are available on the website www.singlepairethernet.com


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