Due to the lack of a standard for the fast transmission of large amounts of data and end-to-end, seamless communication from the field level to higher-level information systems, IIoT applications have not been possible in process plants until today.
The Ethernet Advanced Physical Layer (APL) is closing this gap of an Ethernet suitable for the process industry. With the Ethernet-APL field switch, Pepperl+Fuchs is now launching the first product worldwide that enables direct, fast, barrier-free access to and from the field instrumentation via Ethernet-APL.
For the first time, users in process plants are able to use well-known and field-proven Ethernet-based protocols such as PROFINET, EtherNet/IP or OPC UA beyond the control room in the entire plant. This opens up completely new applications, such as those increasingly required in the context of Industry 4.0. But it also results in new automated processes for how users can work with field instrumentation of process plants in the future.