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Reliable networking is a must for the majority of industrial processes. Unfortunately, harsh environments can make maintaining stable and secure connections difficult. That's where M12 Ethernet cables come in – offering a robust, efficient solution for industrial networking even in extreme conditions.

In this article, we'll explain what M12 Ethernet cables are and their top benefits before outlining how to choose the right one for your application.

What are M12 Ethernet Cables?

M12 Ethernet cables are specialized data transmission cables developed to provide a secure and reliable connection in harsh environments. They use advanced materials, such as stainless steel or polyamide sheathing, to protect the cable from extreme temperatures, mechanical stressors like vibration or pressure, and corrosive liquids.

ShowMeCables’ premium TRG501-T4T-15M is an L-com D-coded Cat5e industrial cable, available up to 15 meters in length. The cable is suitable for PowerOverEthernet (PoE) connectivity and helps eliminate the need for an external power source.

Common Applications of M12 Ethernet Cables

M12 cables are used in several industrial settings. Common applications include:

  • Manufacturing: To connect machines, sensors, and actuators in automated production lines.
  • Transportation: To transmit data between the server and train or bus and within the onboard systems.
  • Oil & gas: To connect equipment to remote locations such as an offshore oil rig.
  • Other Industrial Environments: To ensure a safe connection between processing machinery and the control system.

M12 Ethernet cables are typically used with outdoor M12 Ethernet connectors, providing a secure and reliable connection. Check out the L-com M12 8 Position A-code Mold Connector, which is IP67 rated and highly suitable for analog sensors.

Top Benefits of Using M12 Cables Compared to RJ45 Cables

The RJ45 cables are the most common Ethernet cables used in networking, but they don't offer the same level of protection as M12 Ethernet cables. Here are five top benefits you'll find when using M12 Ethernet cables for your industrial applications:

  1. Superior mechanical resistance thanks to their robust and rugged construction.
  2. Improved waterproof integrity thanks to their sealed connectors.
  3. Increased signal quality due to higher shielding against interference from EMI/RFI noise sources.
  4. Easier installation – no need for conduit or cable tray systems to protect them from environmental factors. 
  5. Better performance in extreme temperatures (from -50°C to +80°C).

M12 Ethernet Coding Types

M12 Ethernet cables come in various coding options, depending on the application and environment. The most common types include:

  • A-Coding: Suitable for use in dry environments or in those exposed to occasional splashes of water. ShowMeCables M12A5PVC is an A-coded M12 cable containing molded connectors and a PVC jacket, supporting ethernet and fieldbus connections.
  • D-Coding (or Circular): Designed for use in wet environments and offers improved waterproofing compared to A-coded connectors thanks to its specially designed sealing collar. The L-com Economy M12 has a D-coded M12 male to Rj45 connector ideal for sensors, actuators, and test equipment.
  • X-Coding: Meant for use in extreme environments as the most robust option with a higher degree of protection against dust and water ingress than A or D-coded cables. The ShowMeCables M12 8 Position X-Code Cable is double-shielded for EMI/RFI protection and compliant with several industrial ethernet standards, including 100BASE-TX and 1000BASE-T.

Contact Customer Support to Get the Right M12 Ethernet Cable

When selecting the right M12 Ethernet cable, it's essential to consider the environment in which it will be used. If it’s likely to come into contact with water, opting for a D-coded or X-coded connector provides more reliable protection than an A-coded option.

Furthermore, you must select the correct length and type of cable appropriate to your network setup. If you have any queries regarding which M12 Ethernet cable best suits your application, contact an experienced customer support team who can offer informed advice.

ShowMeCables offers an extensive selection of M12 ethernet cables. Most of our 25,000+ items are in stock and available for same-day shipping. If you have any questions, we would love to hear from you at 1-888-519-9505.