In 2018, major process industry suppliers signed an agreement, known as “The APL Project,” to develop Ethernet-APL technology. This effort has been backed by the leading industry standard development organizations (SDOs) FieldComm Group, ODVA, OPC Foundation, and PROFIBUS & PROFINET International. Serving as the technology lead, Pepperl+Fuchs provides 60 years of experience in process industries to this alliance of companies. The infographic below shows an overview of activities that had been required for defining Ethernet-APL, developing it, and bringing it to market.
Ethernet Advanced Physical Layer communication is based on established and internationally recognized IEEE and IEC standards. Any company can apply Ethernet-APL and use the exact same concepts or products anywhere. This allows any team to standardize their processes or documentation on a global scale, reducing the time and money spent on planning, engineering, training, installation, commissioning, operation, and plant upkeep. This is a decisive advantage for any supplier, operator, or service company doing business globally.
Global standardization allows anyone to participate in this market development, which is why we expect a high rate of acceptance. In addition, the testing and certification of products ensures interoperability at all times, allowing devices from any manufacturer to operate on the same network. Just as we rely on Ethernet communications at home, in the office, and on the factory floor, Ethernet-APL provides an Ethernet to the field of process plants.
This unique common project ended in 2022. But still, the umbrella organizations will continue their cooperation to set up definitions, informations and standards..