To save costs in the planning, wiring and installation of networks, the Power over Ethernet (PoE) process was developed and standardized under IEEE 802.3af. Just as its name suggests, devices that support PoE such as video cameras, access control devices, and VoIP phones are supplied with power directly via the data cable. No additional electrical wiring is needed! PoE makes the network planning flexible and independent of switch cabinets and sockets. There are no extra costs for the electricity and telephone network (VoIP) wiring.

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Traditional power lines supplying AC power simply are not always practical. Networked cameras and access control devices are often located in places where traditional power outlets and cabling are difficult to install or simply unavailable. PoE simplifies the installation and operation, keeping the cabling secure while not interfering with the network operation.

The IEEE 802.3af PoE standard provides up to 15.4 watts over the Cat 5 or higher twisted pair wiring. The more recent IEEE 802.3at PoE+ standard provides up to 25.5 watts over the twisted pair wiring. There are numerous non-standard schemes providing even higher wattage levels, but these schemes do not conform to the IEEE specs.

PoE's advantage is the ubiquity of Ethernet, which encourages the development of products to support the standard – not only in the Enterprise market where it was born, but in a broadening range of applications in industrial environments. Increasingly in new industrial system implementations and in system upgrades, the benefits of an all-Ethernet network are winning over specialized local networks.

Both GarrettCom and Hirschmann offer Power over Ethernet solutions from the DIN rail to the backbone to connect to your industrial cables.

Visit this blog to learn how to Choose PoE Products for Your Industrial Network.

Download the white paper "The Case for Specifying Industrial Ethernet Cable for Harsh Environments"