Test Adapter for Cable Certification

| Environmental Testing | Environmental Testing

Cable adapter provides easy access to industrial cabling systems for test engineers to perform certification

Network cabling certification becomes easier in difficult environments with new test adapter.

Fluke Networks has developed an adapter supporting the ix Industrial connector for the DSX CableAnalyzer family of network cabling certification tools. The new adapter allows the DSX Series to connect to cabling systems employing ix Industrial for the purposes of pre-start up verification and troubleshooting as well as for certification against industrial cabling standards.

The development of the new connector system took place with the cooperation of Fluke distribution partners, Harting and Hirose and the ix Industrial was a joint venture between them, having been introduced to the market in 2016. The ix Industrial is a rugged Ethernet connector for harsh environments, which complies with the IEC 61076-3-124 standard and is 70% smaller than a traditional RJ45 connector. Since its launch, the connector has found widespread adoption in industrial networks.

Testing Requirement

Since the launch of ix Industrial and the expansion of smarter factories and increased industrial network densities, it became clear that there was a pressing requirement for easier, more accessible pre-start up testing of cabling systems.

According to Fluke, even when customers and contractors use top quality components, variations in the installation process can cause issues ranging from intermittent to total network failures, leading to unplanned downtime. Therefore, certifying the installed cabling to industry standards during deployment reduces start-up time and prevents costly cabling-related downtime.

The miniaturised ix Industrial connector supports communications rates up to 10 Gbps when used with Category 6A or Class EA cabling. Its rugged design features an enhanced PCB retention force, durability up to 5000 mating cycles and a high level of resistance to Electromagnetic Interference (EMI). With the market trend for smaller devices, such as vision sensors and small controllers, the need for miniaturised connections is growing and the ix Industrial connector is a suitable system for this market requirement, with several major companies in the sector having already endorsed the connector as an Ethernet interface.

Certification systems

The Fluke Networks DSX CableAnalyzer Series is part of one of the industry’s main cabling certification system, supporting a very extensive variety of in-plant cabling up to and including Category 8, single and multi-mode fibre and standards from the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), International Standards Organisation (ISO/IEC) and the Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE).

Over 30 cabling manufacturers worldwide have endorsed the DSX CableAnalyzer Series for certification of their installed systems. The DSX CableAnalyzer Series performs rigorous tests with simple pass/fail results and features extensive diagnostics that slash troubleshooting time.

According to Walter Hock, Vice president and General Manager of Fluke Networks, research that has been conducted has shown that more than half of all Industrial Ethernet failures can be traced to cabling issues.

“Examples include failed connectors, cable or shield breaks, susceptibility to electromagnetic interference or moisture as well as cables that don’t meet specification or are simply too long,” explains Hock.

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