Why fiber optics?

The utilization of fiber optic data transmission for industrial automation and process control has become increasingly popular over the past decade.

A basic fiber optic system, using an optical transceiver circuit and fiber optic media, offers a wide array of benefits that are not available with traditional copper conductors.

Advantages of fiber optic data transmission technology

  • High data rate and wide bandwidth
  • Immunity to EMI/RFI and lightning damage
  • No ground loops
  • Low attenuation (data loss)
  • Longer distance – up to 3 miles (5 km) with Muliti Mode fiber and over 15 miles (25 km) with Single Mode fiber
  • Small cable diameter fits almost anywhere – requires less duct space
  • Light weight
  • No sparks if cut – ideal for Hazardous Area applications
  • No electric shock hazard
  • Secure communications
  • Flexible networking topologies
  • Corrosion resistant
  • Longer life expectancy than copper or coaxial cable
  • Economical total system cost

Disadvantages of electronic cabling (twisted pair (TP), coax, twinax)

In selecting the signal/data transmission technology for your Industrial Automation and Process Control networking, the following limitations of electronic cabling should be considered:

  • Cabling hassles: weight, routing, size, attenuation and cross-talk
  • Distance between terminals and hosts is severely limited
  • Large diameter cable fills plenums and conduits
  • Needs to be routed away from power cabling
  • Poor security
  • Limited topologies
  • Cost can be high relative to fiber