Automation Canada - Cables & Connectors Issue - 5

Next, you'll need to determine if your sensor needs a shielded cable
or not. Most sensors with a PNP or NPN output do not require a
shielded cable, but if your sensor has an analog output like 4-20mA or
0-10v you will need to select a shielded sensor cable to prevent the
analog signal being affected by noise.
Once you selected your connectors and determined if shielding is
required or not, you'll need to work out the length of your sensor cable.
This is not as straight forward as it seems. Depending on where your

C A N A D I A N A U TO M AT I O N

sensor is mounted, you will typically need route your cable up and
around your machine so if you're connecting your sensor directly to a
PLC input card you'll need a longer cable. If you have several sensors,
then an IP67 I/O module will substantially reduce the number of cables
you have to route back to your panel. Using an IP67 I/O module will also
keep your sensor cables nice and short as well as reduce your
installation time. When calculating the length of your cable don't forget
to include any vertical routing along with the horizontal routing of the
cable!
We are nearly there, but this next step is probably one of most
important because it can make a huge difference to the reliability of
your machines. We are talking about the operating environment and
the possibility of cable movement during machine operation. If these
factors are not considered, your sensor cables may end up causing a lot
of breakdowns and unscheduled downtime. Let's cover the operating
environment first - There's a huge difference between the operating
environment of a welding cell in an automotive plant and a meat slicer in
a food processing plant. A sensor cable designed with a jacket material
resistant to weld spatter will not be very good at resisting the
high-pressure water and chemical solutions used to wash down a meat
slicer, or the other way around. There is not enough space here to dive
into all the different types of jacket material available for different
environments, but it's definitely something you should look into when
choosing your sensor cable. Now, what about cable movement? There
are sensor cables designed for no movement and there are sensor
cables specifically designed for motion type applications with a lot of
bending and/or twisting. For example, a basic sensor cable installed in

VOLUME 3, ISSUE 2

5



Automation Canada - Cables & Connectors Issue

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Automation Canada - Cables & Connectors Issue

Automation Canada - Cables & Connectors Issue - 1
Automation Canada - Cables & Connectors Issue - 2
Automation Canada - Cables & Connectors Issue - 3
Automation Canada - Cables & Connectors Issue - 4
Automation Canada - Cables & Connectors Issue - 5
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