Industrial automation systems have become big users of fiber optics and copper cabling. Industrial applications of premises cabling usually have more stringent needs than commercial applications. How well do you understand industrial cabling? Answers and explanations are in red.

1. Industrial cabling generally has more stringent requirements for __________than office cabling.

A. Temperature

B. Physical stress

C. Electrical noise

D. All of the above

The environment for industrial cabling includes extremes of temperature in a rugged environment with a lot of electrical noise.

2. The type of cabling that has the highest electrical noise immunity is __________.

A. Coax

B. STP Cat 7

C. UTP Cat 6a

D. Fiber optics

Fiber optics, as a dielectric, are totally immune to electrical noise.

3. __________ is often used on industrial robots for connections to the controllers.

A. Multimode optical fiber

B. Plastic optical fiber

C. Coax

D. Miniature coax

Plastic fiber is used on many industrial robots for its noise immunity, flexibility, light weight and low cost.

4. Armored fiber optic cable can be used indoors to withstand crush loads and other stress on the cable.



Some is similar to outdoor armored cable with a fire-rated jacket but new types are all plastic.

5. For systems that use category-rated twisted-pair, the highest noise immunity cable is __________.

A. Cat 5e UTP

B. Cat 6 UTP

C. Cat 6a UTP

D. Shielded twisted-pair

Shielded twisted pair provides a noise shield outside the four twisted pairs.

6. Industry standards for industrial installations are covered under __________.

A. TIA-568-B

B. TIA-568-C

C. TIA-1005

D. ANSI-568

TIA-1005 covers the special needs of industrial applications of cables described in TIA-568 for commercial applications.

7. TIA standards allow longer UTP patchcords than office applications as long as the total cable link length is reduced to compensate for the lower performance of the patchcords.



Patchcords are generally made from stranded cable for flexibility but have lower performance so only shorter links are allowed.

8. Besides the cables specified for TIA-568 for offices, the TIA industrial standard also includes __________.

A. Two-pair UTP

B. Plastic optical fiber

C. Coax

D. Lamp cord

Two-pair UTP is used in enough industrial applications that it was deemed appropriate for inclusion in the standard.

9. MICE (mechanical, ingress, climactic/­chemical, electrical) is used to describe __________.

A. Rodent problems

B. Environmental conditions to help choose appropriate components

C. Cabling length requirements

D. Air conditioning requirements

It is an acronym for the scope of environmental conditions encountered in industrial applications.

10. In addition to helping protect personnel and equipment from hazardous voltages, a proper grounding and bonding system will improve the __________ of the cabling system.

A. High-frequency performance

B. Termination process

C. Cost

D. Electromagnetic compatibility performance

Bad grounding is one of the major causes of electrical noise in communications cabling.

HAYES is a VDV writer and educator and the president of The Fiber Optic Association. Find him at