The cabling for the new Single Pair Ethernet (SPE) network technology is now ready to use. R&M (Reichle & De-Massari AG), the globally active developer and provider of cabling systems for high-quality network infrastructures, based in Wetzikon, Switzerland, is launching the first complete SPE system on the market. It comprises connectors and connection modules, installation cables and patch cords for building automation networks.
“Single Pair Ethernet will become a key technology in smart building,” explains R&M Market Manager Matthias Gerber. SPE cabling is paving the way to seamless building automation with Ethernet and building management on the basis of the universal Internet Protocol (IP). SPE cabling links the smallest digital terminal devices and sensors in buildings with data networks and the Internet, resulting in the Internet of Things (IoT).
Largest area of application: digital ceiling
Single Pair Ethernet extends the concept of local data networks (LAN) and structured cabling systems. For signal and data transmission, only two copper wires are required instead of eight or one wire pair instead of four. SPE cables are thinner and the connectors smaller than their counterparts on the LAN cabling side. This is why a large number of small devices can also be connected without any problems with SPE cabling.
“Initially, the largest area of application is ceiling cabling, in other words the digital ceiling,” said Matthias Gerber. Starting from floor distributors or service nodes in the ceilings, SPE cabling can spread a long way. The SPE system from R&M offers a transmission range of 600 meters.
SPE can network countless digital terminal devices, e.g. smart LED lights, remote-controlled monitors and scoreboards, temperature, light and climate sensors, controllers for heating and ventilation, electronic cash registers and self-service terminals. R&M sees the possibility for a wide range of applications in hospitals, hotels, malls, industrial parks, office centers, administrations and similar cases.
In addition to data and signals, SPE cabling can also transport electricity and thus supply terminal equipment with power. In many cases, this eliminates the need for separate wiring for the power supply.
Promoting the use of Single Pair Ethernet
R&M is one of the driving forces behind the standardization and broad market launch of Single Pair Ethernet (SPE). In 2020, R&M founded the Single Pair Ethernet System Alliance together with more than 20 international technology companies. It aims to promote the use of SPE in a wide range of applications and areas of operation.
R&M is the first supplier to introduce a complete SPE cabling system. From the outset, R&M focused on a complete solution that extends from the distribution panel to the outlet. R&M offers two connector systems: LC-Cu in compliance with IEC 63171-1 for structured cabling and building automation, and MSP in compliance with IEC 63171-2 for the industrial environment. The new products can be combined with existing R&M outlets and 19″ panels.
R&M is convinced that the future belongs to smart buildings. Building management will be digital and IP-based throughout. Something that will help this is the use of new network structures, such as digital ceiling in combination with Single Pair Ethernet, for the cabling of the final few meters. This allows all areas of building automation to be integrated in a structured solution concept.