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Nine ways to understand Ethernet-APL

June 1, 2023
Ethernet-APL mini-series—Day 7—Control’s monthly resources guide

Essentials of the APL organization

This website, “Ethernet-APL,” is ground zero for everything about the emerging single-pair Ethernet (SPE) networking technology for hazardous areas. It includes a 90-second introductory video, FAQs, 18-page whitepaper, 120-page engineering guide, progress reports, blog, library and details about the four standards development organizations (SDO) and 12 supplier partners that established it, and continue to maintain it.


Intro video from the FieldComm Group

This 40-minute video, “Ethernet-APL” by the FieldComm Group, covers all the basics, such as definitions, layered model, Internet connectivity, ISO OSI model, registration and others. It’s here 

FieldComm Group

Many connections, many protections

This online article, “The Ethernet-APL engineering process” by Dr. Karl-Heinz Niemann, covers its context in the ISO/OSI protocol stack, design requirements, differences from regular Ethernet, cabling and connection technologies, network structures, explosion protection, network traffic and shielding concept. It’s here

R. Stahl

Expert panel discussion

This 65-minute video, “Networking Lounge about Ethernet-APL,” presents a roundtable discussion hosted by Pepperl+Fuchs at its Online Summit event in July 2020. The session features Gerd Niedermayer of BASF, who details its test installation of Ethernet-APL. The panelists also compare APL to existing technologies, suppliers’ progress on solutions, and rail field switches. It’s here


APL standards, devices, infrastructure, power classes

This six-page article, “Ethernet-APL for evolving field devices and the future of industrial Ethernet” by Taro Endoh, Shuji Kuwahara and Seiichiro Takahashi, explains how APL can meet the requirements of process automation (PA) plants, shows what benefits it will bring to PA plants and what challenges are expected to emerge, and describes the prospects and expectations of Yokogawa’s contribution to this field. It’s here


Two short videos from Endress+Hauser

These 2.5-minute videos, “What is Ethernet-APL?” and “Ethernet-APL: simple, fast digital” from Endress+Hauser, trace its history and development by the four SDOs and their supplier partners; shows how it’s supported by other protocols like Profinet, EtherNet/IP, OPC UA and HART IP; and details how it gives users loop-powered communications with straightforward and reliable networking. They’re here and here 


High-availability safety whitepaper

This 13-page whitepaper, “Ethernet-APL in the field for high-availability safety applications,” shows how it can be applied consistently to enable functional safety. It covers benefits such as applications up to SIL 3, increased accuracy and flexibility, and challenges such as device requirements. It’s here


Blog posts cover costs, upcoming modules and topologies

The first of two blog posts, “Ethernet-APL—the new gold standard for process automation” covers some technical fundamentals, shows how Ethernet-APL can make networking cost-effective, and previews two modules Softing is developing to enable these communications. The second post, “Ethernet-APL—network topologies,” details three variants, including connecting directly to a control network using regular Ethernet copper or fiber-optic cables, or using truck technology and APL switches with either autonomous power or an added energy source. It also covers network stability and net-load rate limits. The first is here and the second is here 


Profile of Procter & Gamble’s APL testbed

This online article, “P&G gets simpler, smarter with Ethernet-APL,” shows how Procter & Gamble developed an Ethernet-APL demonstration project at its Corporate Engineering Technology Lab (CETL) in West Chester, Ohio. The demo was implemented on the lab's Smart Process Cell (SPC), and showed that Ethernet-APL wiring was easy and robust, and that devices on the network looked like any other Ethernet components. It’s here


About the Author

Jim Montague | Executive Editor

Jim Montague is executive editor of Control. 

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