Bus Cables

Posted 20 October 2021

Tags: Bus Cables

All for one and one for all!

Prior to bus systems being developed each switch, sensor, detector or contact needed wiring back to the process controller via its own pair or cable. Due to the high transmission rates and data flow requirements in evolving industrial applications, standard data cables were not up to the job. Bus systems changed that, (derived from the Latin word Omnibus, meaning “for all”) instead of using a dedicated pair, signals are coded and sent over a common bus cable which connects all the equipment together allowing the sensors and detectors to communicate between each other as well as back to the controller.

The use of bus technology has expanded into almost every industry from controlling manufacturing lines through to building automation which has seen a growth in proprietary systems aimed at specific applications. Each system has its own cable specifically designed to optimise efficiency and speed allowing us to measure, detect and control almost anything and everything!

FS Cables stock a variety of different types of bus cable which include:

Foundation Fieldbus

Foundation Fieldbus is primarily used in the process control automation industry and is an open protocol, all digital, serial, two-way communication system which interconnects devices at speeds of 31.25kB/s. Carrying signals between different devices is simpler because of the twisted pair cable design. Due to the open Fieldbus network, all products interoperate.


A range of single pair bus cables for process and field communication in cellular networks. The Profibus protocol has been widely adopted for production and process automation applications providing transmission rates up to 12Mbits/sec.


Designed for use on Allen Bradley DeviceNet systems, the ‘thick’ cable construction incorporates a power and data pair for backbone wiring. ‘Thin’ cables are designed to connect sensors, actuators and switches to the DeviceNet backbone (thick cable) on the Allen Bradley DeviceNet system. Similar in construction to the backbone cable, the ‘thin’ cable incorporates a power and data pair. Several sheathing options are available for different installation environments. These cables are also referred to as DeviceNet Trunk and Drop cables.

Bus CablesEchelon LonWorks

A range of single pair bus cables is available for the LonWorks system allowing convenient wiring via the Free Topology concept. Due to the popularity of the system for building management applications in the public sector these cables are now stocked in Low Smoke Halogen Free (LSHF) versions. Duct grade PE sheaths and SWA options can also be manufactured for quantities as low as 100m. Available as one and two pair cables, screened and unscreened, they provide the ideal low cost solution to bus wiring.

Modbus & ASI Bus

Developed by Modicon, Modbus provides a master/slave communication between intelligent automation devices. Based on Belden 9841, the Modbus cable has an increased jacket thickness to ensure a correct termination into the Modbus connectors. Industrial Ethernet, CC-Link & Pilz through the use of Lan style cables, Industrial Ethernet provides a stable platform for linking automation systems and workstations. They are also suitable for interlinking different Bus protocols such as Profibus and Interbus. The use of finely stranded conductors and PUR sheathing compounds makes them ideal for frequent flexing and dynamic applications.

View the range here