There’s been a lot of buzz across the process industries about Ethernet Advanced Physical Layer (APL) based in its promise to bring Ethernet to field-level devices. The ability to bring Ethernet directly to such devices means that Industry 4.0 levels of connectivity can be achieved without the need for network gateways.
The 2-wire Ethernet-APL technology—which delivers power and communication over the same wire pair—meets the requirements of harsh process environments. This means that digital data transmission with high bandwidth is now possible over long distances, even in explosive atmospheres.
BASF defined the requirements for this test from an industrial end user point of view. On the hardware suppliers’ side, Endress+Hauser products were tested alongside products from Pepperl+Fuchs, Honeywell and ABB. Their components were confirmed to work together in harmony, according to Endress+Hauser
The first test was set up with nearly 240 Endress+Hauser measuring devices, including flow, pressure, temperature and level sensors. They were integrated into a system with Pepperl+Fuchs’ field switches and a Honeywell control system, all using Ethernet-APL and Profinet. For the second test, ABB provided the control system and was tested along with the previous field switches and measuring devices.
The test results showed that Ethernet-APL can be used in real world scenarios. All relevant requirements like total net load or redundancy switch-over times were met or exceeded.
Given the success of the load test, the participating companies indicate that they have taken a significant step towards a technological infrastructure that is open, future-proof and ready for the Industrial Internet of Things. Endress+Hauser, which is planning the release of a portfolio of Ethernet-APL measuring devices that transmit data via the Profinet protocol, says Ethernet-APL will enable customers to create more flexible, efficient and cost-effective industrial systems and deliver more benefits for the industry.
See more information about Endress+Hauser’s Ethernet-APL plans at https://eh.digital/launch-ethernet-apl.