Industry 4.0 is much discussed for quite some time. Expectations and objects are often very abstract. Many users in industry are not yet able to get a precise understanding. Of course the technology approach Industry 4.0 will implicate large-scale changes of existing industrial production processes and methods. According to the basic concept of Industry 4.0 all functions are incorporated in general, self-generating processes. These functions communicate in an open and transparent manner and complement each other whether or not the intelligence of the function is integrated into the work-piece, the sensor, the control program or an individual task in the data centre.
In any case this technology approach needs a high performance network as basis. However, this is not possible without an appropriate broadband data highway and the necessary reliable connection of the network stations as the volume of the transmitted data continues to grow. All this will bring copper based connection systems in the long term to their limits despite technical advancements. Therefore, future-proof cablings in data centres and industrial environments need a primary as well as secondary fibre optic cabling.
Benefits of fibre optic technology
Fibre optic technology allows for high-speed transmission of large data volumes over long distances. Optical fibres are not electrically conductive and consequently precautionary measures with regard to EMC or an electrical isolation between transmitter and receiver are not necessary. Data transmission via fibre optic cables is tap-proof and without interfering crosstalk. The thin fibre optic cables need significantly less space and convince by their low weight. And last but not least fibre optics have no resource problems.
So, fibre optics offer the technical conditions to cope with growing data transmission rates in the future. In fact, the already long-discussed FTTx subjects of tertiary cabling bring first implementations as network planners and installers include more and more often Fibre-to-the-Office (FTTO) or Fibre-to-the-Desk (FTTD) in their projects. To date however, the number of fibre optic terminals is negligibly small. The transmission performance of copper cabling to terminals is considerably above the current need and tertiary fibre optic cabling is much more expansive compared to copper solutions.
Approved in harsh environments
The increasing automation in all industrial areas requires processing of ever larger data volumes.
The request for integrated communication and networking for safe operation as well as an increasing cost pressure implicate that devices, machines, plants and systems are perfectly connected without performance loss or system breaks. This requires internationally standardised network components complying with the increasing demands as to interference resistance, reach and speed. For these reasons fibre optic technology is becoming more and more important also in the industry, not least because of the good EMC features. Especially for harsh industrial environments, modular fibre optic plugs and adapters can be installed in V1, V4 or V14 housings to ensure IP67 protection when mated. Furthermore, the METZ CONNECT product range includes besides these solid connectors also splice distributors for electrical cabinets in industrial environments. The rail-mounted OpDAT REG S convince by a flat housing and a large and solid cabling space.
Data centres are the central element of every network
A network connects quite different divisions of a company and the type of processed data ranges from simple text documents to complex design drawings, from production control to facility management. The large data volumes that have to be processed and saved in less time require an infrastructure that meets these demands. High performance fibre optic data cables ensure a high flexibility in the availability of the performance needed. METZ CONNECT designed the product range DCCS2 (data centre compact solution) with its high packing density of up to 48 ports on only one rack unit especially for the needs in data centres. The pre-terminated DCCS links are plug&play solutions requiring little installation work and low cost, and avoid installation errors. With the compact DCCS2 installation cables (diameter of about 6.5 mm) cable trays are less crowded reducing significantly the risk of heat accumulation. This also means less effort for climate control in data centres.
METZ CONNECT offers ideally matched connection components and systems for fibre optic and copper technology for structured data networks. METZ CONNECT provides the perfect system consistency for global connections and networks with single mode and multi mode fibre optic connectors such as LC, SC, ST and E2000. High-grade materials assure the product quality of the approved plugs, adapters, cables, patch cords and patch panels. The products are permanently examined with special test procedures by internal and external inspection bodies.
VIK – individual, customized, pre-terminated cables
METZ CONNECT manufactures individual, customized, pre-terminated installation cables (VIK) for a perfectly fitting structured fibre optic cabling, available with universal cables, mini-breakout or breakout cables. VIKs are fibre optic cables with connectors on one or both cable ends, made in single piece manual manufacturing by METZ CONNECT by respecting the highest standards of quality. For each cable the customer defines length, connector combination (for ex. LC, SC and ST), number of fibres, fanout protection or pull-in aid.
Pre-terminated fibre optic universal cables with up to 48 fibres are suited for mechanically demanding indoor and outdoor use, for example in building and campus cablings, data centres and cablings in industrial areas. VIK universal cables perfectly work with the fibre optic patch panels (types PF, PA, fix or slide). They allow for easy and rapid to install point-to-point connections of passive and active network components. Thus, installation time and cost are considerably reduced compared to an installation requiring splicing and pigtails or a cabling with different cables.
VIK mini breakout cables with up to 24 tubes are suited for indoors and outdoors and are also used in combination with fibre optic patch panels and wall outlets. They are used in building backbone (floor distributors), fibre-to-the-desk cabling or in data centres. And they are suited for space saving installation in housings.
VIK breakout cables with up to 24 individual cables are suited for indoor and outdoor use. Their fibres are mechanically better protected compared to mini breakout cables and each fibre has an additional strain relief.
All VIKs can be individually configured in the cable configurator at www.metz-connect.com.