The missing link

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Written by Gary Nelson- Senior Product Manager, Device Connections and Gareth Chamberlain- Product Manager, Cyber Security & IT Automation

In the world of smart networks, communication is key. But when do you make the decision of which connection technology to use?

Designing a network is always an intensive process, planning out what is needed and how devices will communicate with one another. Talking to people involved with each process, talking to the safety engineer and talking to the controls engineer and many other people. You have planned out the subnet and if any other network protocols are to run across the topology. But the one thing most network designers forget is what media and what connection is going to be used.

The options for handling data transmissions in the industrial world are wide and varied, however the environment you are working within may limit the options available. As the industrial marketplace is moving towards smart networks and intelligent production lines the transfer of data can face challenges with EMI and EMC issues. You may therefore find yourself unable to use traditional copper based systems or antennas as you may be unable to cover the distances required from transmitter to receiver.

The challenging requirements of the internet of things (IoT) and Industry 4.0 mean higher speed real-time data communications are needed that ensure both reliability and longevity. Din rail mounted solutions can be limited to copper based products and the inherent limitations of data transfer can be escalated by the cabinet the products are used within.

Phoenix Contact has an extensive range of fibre-optic based products that covers both IP20 and IP67 applications using different fibres and Din rail mounted distribution boxes. The latest release is the ready to splice pre-assembled FDX 20 series which significantly reduces assembly and installation times with its patented pigtail tray and is the most compact splice-box of it’s type available on the market today.

For more information, contact either Gary on or Gareth on



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