Ethernet Patch Cables

Our ETHERLINE® product brand includes copper-based data cables for Ethernet-based systems. Alongside products by the metre, we also offer patch cables for versatile applications and requirements in the industrial environment and structured building cabling. Ethernet patch cables are Ethernet cables assembled with plug connections.

What is an Ethernet patch cable? 

Ethernet patch cables are data cables that have already been assembled at the factory by LAPP with a data connector on one or both sides. This means that you can connect and use the product directly – especially with patch cables pre-assembled on both sides. Ethernet patch cables are ideal for industrial use in machines, control cabinets and IT racks.

Patch cables may also be referred to as connecting cables.

An Ethernet patch cable particularly suitable for industry is characterised by the selected material, the design and the choice of individual plug connections and technical approvals.

This is because – particularly in Industrial Ethernet – the patch cable goes far beyond the widespread cables with RJ45 data connectors used in office and structured building cabling. Ethernet patch cables are available in different variants, e.g. with M12 X-coded or M12 D-coded Ethernet plug connections that are assembled for you by LAPP.

How do different Ethernet patch cables vary?

In office communications, the Ethernet patch cable is known as a twisted pair cable with an RJ45 data connector. It is used to connect switches, routers and other IT devices. Industrial Ethernet (IE), on the other hand, has completely different requirements.

For Industrial Ethernet cabling, patch cables are distinguished according to the following criteria:

  • Assembled on one or both sides,
  • Different data connectors on the left and right end,
  • Different numbers of core pairs (2 or 4),
  • Particularly suitable for fixed or flexible installation, use in cable chains and in torsion applications,
  • Different Cat. categories (Cat.5e, Cat.6A, 7, Cat.7A),
  • Data connectors with versatile connector faces, pin configurations and colour coding (M8 A-coded, M12 D-coded, M12 X-coded, RJ45)
  • Industry-compliant materials for outer sheath and core insulation.

Where are Ethernet patch cables used? 

Broadly speaking: for structured cabling and industrial Ethernet.

But now a little more specifically: Ethernet patch cables are often used for cabling in industrial environments with an Ethernet-based standard as the basis. In Ethernet networks such as PROFINET and EtherNet/IP, patch cables are often used for wiring automation systems.

Did you know that Ethernet patch cables are often used in Industrial Ethernet which do not use the standard RJ45 data connectors? It is often even the case that a different data connector is used at each end of a cable.

In the following figure, you can see an Ethernet patch cable with circular connectors for industrial use. With the M12D-coded standard and a thread for a very firm hold in the socket, such a patch cable can be:

  • quickly inserted instead of requiring a time-consuming connection: you save time and can focus on your core business.
  • compactly overmoulded: the overmoulded plug connections of Ethernet patch cables are much more space-saving than the field-assembly variants.
  • efficient: you do not need special expertise or equipment, as our experts will handle the assembly for you.
Figure 1 Ethernet patch cable with circular connector, M12 D-coded and RJ45-connector.


Ethernet patch cables are used, among other things, to establish connections between switches in control cabinets or to establish connections between switches, sensors, actuators and remote I/Os.

At LAPP, we have the right solution for you even in the case of particularly high requirements with regard to material, design or robustness of the cables, for example.

The international standard UN ECE R118, for example, defines specifications for parts and equipment (including cables) that guarantee fire protection in buses. We also offer products that meet this standard.

Do you need pre-assembled Ethernet patch cables, tailored to your needs?
Do not hesitate to get in touch with us.

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