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Shaping the future of process industries

16 July 2024

From hazardous areas to the cloud, the Ethernet APL switch provides the connection from Ethernet to APL and Profibus PA instruments. It combines a 2 wire loop powered connection with a reliable straightforward network structure. It is fully duplex, using cable lengths of 200 meters at 10 Mbps for each instrument.

Industry 4.0 and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) are standard in the manufacturing industry. In the process industry, on the other hand, there were previously no network standards capable of quickly transferring large amounts of data from the field level to the information level of the Industry 4.0 architecture.

The APL (Advanced Physical Layer) project was established in 2018 with the aim to enhance IEE and IEC standards and use existing standards to bring Ethernet into the process industry. Ethernet APL supports many protocols Ethernet, PROFINET, HART-IP, PROFIBUS PA and more.

The Ethernet APL switch enables the direct connection of Ethernet APL and PROFIBUS PA field devices to Ethernet and PROFINET systems both in safe and hazardous areas, allowing a uniform communication infrastructure across all process management and company levels for the first time.

Ethernet-APL is designed to support various installation requirements, with optional redundancy with a trunk-and-spur topology. Ethernet-APL explicitly specifies point-to-point connections only with each connection on a spur constituting a “segment”.

The Ethernet APL switch uses a 2 wire loop powered connection with a reliable straightforward network structure, it is fully duplex Ethernet, using cable lengths of up to 200 meters at 10 Mbps for each instrument on a spur and direct connection of up to 2km between Ethernet APL switches at 10/100/1000 Mbps for the trunk.


- Designed for process and hybrid industries.
- Start-up records for automatic configuration at device exchange.
- Ratings and certification for hazardous areas and intrinsically safe (Ex ia) networks.
- Same easy validation of intrinsic safety calculations.
- Digital communications and power on the same cable, 2 wire.
- Optimised reliability by continuous diagnostics, monitoring and remote verification with, high-speed data transfer.
- Same tools in IT as in OT for trouble shooting.
- Allows for easy migration of automation systems with PROFIBUS PA and FieldConnex Switches.
- Limiting factors such as data package size, number of instruments and addressing associated with PROFIBUS are no longer relevant.
- Seamless data access by homogeneous network for the 2nd channel and the IIoT.

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