Most Flexible Communication
Industrial Ethernet acknowledged as the most flexible communication solution
Ethernet APL has set out to replace the world’s leading analog 4…20 mA interface for connecting to field devices. On this front, standardized Ethernet communication offers significant cost and application advantages. Ethernet APL is on the leading edge supporting innovative network concepts. It provides a much wider bandwidth when compared to conventional fieldbuses, and complies with the requirements for Ex Zones 2/1/0, thus allowing for consistent digital communication throughout the entire plant. It opens up potential for innovative application scenarios such as offered by the NAMUR Open Architecture (NOA) and the second communication channel, which are extremely expensive or unaffordable for conventional transmission technology.
Industrial Ethernet is considered as the most flexible communication solution with proven resilience, availability and universality, while also being future-proof. Safety and non-safety are combined in one infrastructure by maintaining full separation, and therefore maximum safety, availability and security. Ethernet APL also enables visionary solutions such as control in the field and modular plants (MTP, modular type packages). By systematically establishing this communication infrastructure across the entire plant, complete data transparency is ensured over the entire lifecycle - Independent Open Integration.
Values and benefits of Ethernet APL
With its high performance, Ethernet APL supports standard-compliant safety data exchange with a black channel principle for applications up to SIL 3. And this, directly between safety controller and safe field device. PROFINET and PROFIsafe are open solutions implemented worldwide. Process automation can rely on many years of experience already gained in the field of factory automation.
Although safety protocols can be combined with non-safety protocols, it is strongly recommended to set them up in separate networks for reasons of increased safety and security.
The use of a unified open safety communication offers the most economical solution to all parties involved (component manufacturers and plant operators):
- Manufacturers of sensors, actuators and controllers only have to implement, certify and maintain one protocol.
- Plant operators and integrators only need to provide commissioning and maintenance know-how for one infrastructure and one protocol family.
If you require further information regarding Ethernet APL, we recommend to download our TechnicalPaper.
Ethernet APL provides an efficient infrastructure for safety communication right from the beginning. Plant operators benefit significantly from this unified infrastructure with (almost) identical field devices, both for process control and for safety applications.
Protected against reverse polarity and suitable for distances of up to 1000 m in Ex Zone 2/1/0 at 10 Mbit/s speed, the 2-wire data and power connection is best suited for universal use in process automation.
The flexible Ethernet architecture contributes considerably to the availability of a plant. It is thus possible, for instance, to select a star topology in which the failure of individual devices cannot impact the overall system. Ring structures ensuring high availability with low wiring effort are feasible as well.
End-to-end digital communication dramatically increases measurement accuracy and noise immunity. Ethernet APL performance also enriches the measured value with additional information such as measuring unit, device status or physical integrity.
Separate communications for process control (fieldbus) and safety applications (4 mA…20 mA) combined on an Ethernet APL infrastructure reduce the planning and commissioning effort tremendously.
Devices can be set up and replaced fully digitally. Measuring ranges for the analog measured value, for example, no longer need to be set whereas field devices can be automatically detected on the network.
With a consistent, fully digital infrastructure for safety and non-safety applications, consistent and universal diagnostic concepts can be implemented for field devices, network technology and automation systems.
Thank to end-to-end digitization, differentiated evaluation and response to alarms and maintenance messages becomes possible. Comprehensive and automatic monitoring significantly reduces maintenance and testing efforts making them much easier to plan.