Into the field of process plants with ethernet

5th November 2021
Kiera Sowery

Ethernet-APL will look familiar to users in process industries. It combines two technologies: Ethernet for seamless, parallel communication - and robust two-wire technology combined with explosion protection for the field within the process plant.

Ethernet-APL thus enables the digitisation of the instrumentation.

Ethernet-APL upgrades network communications in this special environment. This standardisation for Ethernet on the familiar two-wire cable, driven by 12 suppliers, enables long cable runs, power supply and explosion protection with intrinsic safety as integral components. Ethernet-APL eliminates barriers to data flow, helping all stakeholders in the plant lifecycle to simplify designs, get plants up and running faster, keep them up and running better, and thus better manage risk.

With standardisation complete, the technology is available to suppliers and users alike.

The collaboration has also resulted in conformance tests to which manufacturers are subjected. This ensures interoperability and generates a high level of reliability. The first infrastructure components are available, such as the Ethernet APL Rail Field Switch.

This DIN rail-mountable field switch can be installed in Zone 2. The connections for field devices can be 200m long and are intrinsically safe for Zone 2 (Ex ic). FieldConnex stands for highly reliable digital communication in the field of the process plant and first-class support from the experts at Pepperl+Fuchs.

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