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Industry Organizations Report on Advanced Physical Layer for Industrial Ethernet

July 24, 2018
FieldComm Group, ODVA and PI present on developments to Industrial Ethernet in hazardous applications
A group of major automation industry organizations held a press conference at the 2018 ACHEMA Trade Fair and Congress in Frankfurt, Germany, to provide an update on developments around Industrial Ethernet intended to expand the use of EtherNet/IP™, HART-IP™ and PROFINET™ in hazardous location applications in the process industries.

FieldComm Group, ODVA and PI (Profibus & Profinet International) outlined current activities aimed at establishing an advanced physical layer for Ethernet (commonly referred to as “APL”) that can be used to connect field devices in remote and hazardous plant locations. Representatives of leading instrumentation and controls suppliers joined the three organizations to provide a well-rounded perspective on the benefits of an advanced physical layer for end users, as well as discuss the actions being taken to complete the work needed to realize APL in process field devices.

FieldComm Group, ODVA and PI also announced the publication of a joint white paper titled “Ethernet to the Field,” which lays out the vision and timeline for an Ethernet technology suitable for use in remote and hazardous areas. The organizations foresee that the first Ethernet-connected field devices for use in these applications will appear in 2022. To achieve this result, they are seeking to leverage the work currently underway in the IEEE 802.3cg Task Force, which is developing amendments to the IEEE 802.3 Ethernet standard for an Ethernet physical layer operating at 10 Mb/s over single-pair cable. Because of good progress on the specification for the long-reach solution (10BASE-T1L), it is planned that the IEEE 802.3 standard will include 10BASE-T1L by the end of 2019.
Experts participating in the APL project have already started on additional developments to define the requirements and develop the technology to achieve an Industrial Ethernet suitable for use in hazardous locations up to Zone 0, Division 1. To obtain the necessary approval, the experts are working closely with a certification body for intrinsic safety to validate the developed Ex protection concepts and prepare for standardization in the IEC.

As part of their joint promotion of the APL and its potential adaptation to their respective industrial Ethernet networks, the organizations plan to provide future updates at venues relevant to end users in the process industries. This includes, but is not limited to, the 2018 NAMUR General Meeting, which will be held 8-9 November 8-9, 2018, in Bad-Neuenahr, Germany.

For future updates, please visit the News Page on the FieldComm Group website.

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