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Seamlessly linking explosion protection and Industrial Ethernet

20 May 2020

R. STAHL supports the process industry in the design and implementation of explosion-protected Ethernet networks and is actively involved in significant committees, designing intrinsically safe Ethernet standards and new automation architectures.

The explosion protection specialist offers a wide range of products and solutions for universally digitalising automation technology using cabled, FO and wireless technology. Their portfolio stretches from Remote I/O systems with Ethernet interfaces for Zone 1 to compact Wi-Fi access points for Zone 2, and from VM-capable, explosion-protected Thin Clients to CCTV cameras certified for use in Zone 1. With GBit/s Ethernet terminals, optical inherently safe media converters and switches, and splice boxes designed with "op pr" degree of protection, explosion-protected connection components are available for Ethernet networking using copper cables or FOs. 

Through the Advanced Physical Layer (APL) project and as a member of the Intrinsically Safe Working Group, R. STAHL promotes and drives the creation of open, interoperable solutions and standards for intrinsically safe Industrial Ethernet. Ethernet APL is specifically designed for use with intrinsically safe 2-wire field devices and is based on the 10BASE-T1L standard for single-pair Ethernet as set out by the IEEE-802.3cg working group. 

For larger bandwidths and higher energy demand, the existing, available 100BASE-TX Ethernet standard has been used as a basis to develop an interoperable Ex i design that enables transfer rates of up to 100 Mbit/s without an integrated supply. Both standards are expected to yield marketable solutions as early as next year. 

R. STAHL also actively works with the NAMUR NOA (NAMUR Open Architecture) working group and has presented a prototype demonstrating the implementation of the PA-DIM information model based on OPC UA in PROFIBUS DP Remote I/O. The explosion protection specialist has also contributed its expertise to the automation architecture that has been designed from the ground up by the Open Process Automation Forum (OPAF).


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