Ethernet case study advice: Take care with cabling and infrastructure, improve poor existing designs

A system integrator advises on the importance of correct cable installation and verification, Ethernet infrastructure design, and how to minimize the impact of an existing poorly designed network, based on three case study examples. See additional photos in webcast.


Improper Ethernet cabling and connections are among major Ethernet networking malfunctions. Courtesy: Malisko Engineering and Control Engineering webcast, Industrial Ethernet, Part 2: Case Studies.Make your next industrial Ethernet installation easier with correct cable installation and verification, proper Ethernet infrastructure, while minimizing the impact of an existing poorly designed network, according to three case study examples from Steve Schneebeli, director of engineering/IT, Malisko Engineering.

Industrial Ethernet case studies provide practical advice from working installations to ensure your next application uses the best practices and lessons learned to maximize benefits in a minimum amount of time.

Advice follows from Schneebeli. On one project a client decided to install Ethernet cabling using in-house resources.

“We stressed the importance of knowledgeable installation techniques, using certified installers, following industry standards, and performing cable verification after installation,” Schneebeli said. The installers didn’t have appropriate experience, resulting in cable damage, connector troubles, and electromagnetic interference. “Lessons we learned from this installation is to ensure the cable installer knows industrial Ethernet network best practices, and at a minimum, tests the installation using an Ethernet cable tester prior to start-up,” Schneebeli said.

Other Schneebeli advice from two other projects includes:

  • Take care in designing and specifying the Ethernet infrastructure to eliminate common problems and ensure the network can handle future growth.
  • Use the right equipment for the job. Don’t sacrifice robustness for cost savings.
  • Check port settings.
  • Ensure the existing hardware is configured correctly.
  • Test the network before connecting a new system into it.
  • Follow industry standards, such as ANSI/TIA-1005 – M.I.C.E. and ANSI/TIA-569-C.0 (cable lengths) to eliminate many issues found in typical industrial installations.

More Ethernet information

Learn more in the Control Engineering webcast, Industrial Ethernet, Part 2: Case Studies, live on Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013, at 11 a.m. PT /1 p.m. CT/2 p.m. ET, and archived soon after that.

Also learn from a related Control Engineering webcast, Industrial Ethernet, Part 1: Technologies, now available on demand.

For each, upon successful completion of a related quiz, one (1) RCEP / ACEC Certified Professional Development Hour (PDH) is available for attendees.

Both webcasts offer market-related trends and information from Control Engineering and other sources and an instructive question and answer session at the end.

- Mark T. Hoske, content manager, CFE Media, Control Engineering,

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