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As EtherNet/IP moves into the machine area, environmental conditions become a concern. In some applications were EMI is high, fiber cabling can provide a higher degree of noise immunity. In the past, the total cost of ownership using fiber is considerably greater than the copper variant. This has hindered the migration of fiber on to the factory floor. With recent breakthroughs in plastics technologies, Polymer Optical Fiber has become a viable solution for on machine cabling. Recently polymers have advanced, providing high temperature, low loss solutions for Polymer Optical Fiber (POF). Polymer optical fibers can be installed and terminated in the field with little to no training using standard tools. Network dependant interfaces using POF technology cost about the same as their copper counterparts.
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