Interest in Power Over Ethernet Expands

Feb. 5, 2013
When network managers talk about ease of use, they usually focus on software and interconnections.

However, a variation of Ethernet, Power over Ethernet (PoE), is beginning to see more interest. Power is transmitted over conventional cabling, so components can be installed in spots where it’s difficult to add a power cable.

PoE saw minimal interest in automation applications when it first came out, largely because its 12-watt power limitation was insufficient for many industrial applications. But a version that delivers 25 watts was rolled out a couple years ago, making it more viable. That’s prompting users to plan for adoption, with help from suppliers who are beefing up their offerings.

“Today, its usage is fairly limited,” says Mike Hannah, product business manager for networks at Rockwell Automation (www.rockwellautomation.com). “Most applications have been in Internet Protocol cameras and wireless access points. But interest is expanding. More people are looking at it for inspection or to monitor safety zones. We’re getting ready to launch some PoE products.”

Customers prefer PoE over wireless networking alternatives because it doesn’t require batteries. PoE also provides the reliability and speed of wired connections. That’s prompting many equipment makers to expand their offerings to meet growing demand from customers.

“PoE is trickling down into industrial applications, it really is plug and play,” says Ken Austin, Ethernet marketing specialist for Phoenix Contact (www.phoenixcontact.com) of Middletown, Pa. “We’ve seen companies go from using it first for wireless access points. Now entire phone systems are based on PoE and many RFID [radio-frequency identification] readers use PoE. We’ll be coming out with more PoE support products in 2013."

>> Read Automation World's complete coverage on faster control operations: Switching to More Efficient Networks

Companies in this Article

Sponsored Recommendations

Put the Plant Floor in Your Pocket with Ignition Perspective

Build mobile-responsive HTML applications that run natively on any screen.

Ignition: Industrial-Strength System Security and Stability

Ignition is built on a solid, unified architecture and proven, industrial-grade security technology, which is why industrial organizations all over the world have been trusting...

Iron Foundry Gains Competitive Edge & Increases Efficiency with Innovative Technology

With help from Artek, Ferroloy implemented Ignition to digitally transform their disconnected foundry through efficient data collection and analysis while integrating the new ...

Empowering Data Center Growth: Leveraging Ignition for Scalability and Efficiency

Data center growth has exploded over the past decade. Initially driven by organizations moving their computer assets to the cloud, this trend has only accelerated. With the rise...