"We see Ethernet-APL as the future, also for safety applications!"

  Enquiry / contact me

BASF is convinced of Ethernet-APL technology: it offers powerful and consistent digital communication in process automation from sensors to control levels. We talked to Andreas Ziegler, Automation Manager at BASF SE, about advantages and challenges.

Automation & Communication, Industry 4.0

A chemical plant at the BASF Verbund site in Ludwigshafen: digital communication in process automation for maintenance tasks of intelligent field devices.
A chemical plant at the BASF Verbund site in Ludwigshafen: digital communication in process automation for maintenance tasks of intelligent field devices.

PCN Europe: Mr. Ziegler, you are part of the Center of Expertise Automation Technology – how far has digital communication progressed in the field at BASF?
A. Ziegler:
Today, the dominant transmission technology worldwide for process control and, in particular, for safety applications of field devices in the process industry is the 4 mA...20 mA technology, also at BASF. For safety, we often still work with this technology. Even the application of the HART protocol modulated to 4-mA...20-mA, as an entry into the digital world, is not yet used intensively. In addition to 4-mA...20-mA, fieldbus technologies are also widely used for process control. This leads to the maintenance of two different field device technologies with considerable additional effort in the production plants concerned.

PCN Europe: What advantages do you expect from Ethernet-APL?
A. Ziegler: Ethernet-APL has all the properties required for a future-proof network in process automation. The significantly increased bandwidth compared to previous fieldbuses and the extended application capability offer the possibility of establishing uniform digital communication in a production plant. This results in new types of use cases that can either not be implemented at all with conventional transmission technology or only with very high effort. Optimized diagnostics and more efficient maintainability are two further advantages. Above all, it is important to take a decisive step into integrated digital technology – for safety and process control. Dual-track development and the associated long-term maintenance of two technologies in the plants must be avoided!

PCN Europe: What are the challenges?
A. Ziegler: The time pressure regarding an introduction of APL is high, as the safety implementation is associated with additional effort. There is a risk that field devices will be launched on the market without a safety protocol. There are parallels to the development of the fieldbus. The goal must be for field device manufacturers to drive forward the consistent introduction of safety compatibility with high priority in every case. This is our concern: By participating in the white paper, we emphasize that our goal is to use one digital field device for safety and process control in the plants - just like this is the case for 4-mA...20-mA.

PCN Europe: What is your outlook for the future?
A. Ziegler: Ethernet-APL has the potential to establish itself as a solution for a universal and, above all, uniform technology for field device communication. In our test lab, we have already connected the first prototypes of APL field devices with safety implementation to a safety controller. We anticipate an increasing number of prototypes this year and next, and the first APL pilot plants from 2023.

Posted on April 15, 2021 - (613 views)
BASF AG
Carl-Bosch-Strasse 38
67063 Ludwigshafen - Germany
+49-621-600
+49-621-6020149
View full company profile
Location
Related articles
Cobot for the Packaging Industry
Applying ISO/IEC 27001/2 and the ISA/IEC 62443 Series for Operational Technology Environments
Smart Positioner with HART Communication
Switch for the Ethernet Advanced Physical Layer
Shaping the Future—the Ethernet-APL Field Switch
Process Anomaly Identification with AI-based App
Smart Valve Diagnostics
Inventory Management Software with Included Roll-Over Prediction
Online Sound Check for Vacuum Pumps
Control Head with IO-Link
Shaping the Future of Process Industries
PCNE Offers You a Free Ticket to Hannover Messe: Scan the QR-Code.
Our Solutions, as Individual as You.
Transformation is Everywhere.
Hitting top Quartile Means Liberating Data to Flow as Freely
as Your Production
SPS IPC Drives - Smart and Digital Automation: 27 – 29 November 2018, Nuremberg, Germany
Room for new Perspectives
Automation Instrumentation Summit 2018
Thermal Imaging Cameras GF-Series
All Inclusive Plug&Play Solution
Smart Safety Valve for Technical Gases
MODBUS Transmitter With Dual Universal Inputs
Modular Wireless IoT Solution
Redundant I/O-Link Master
Multigas Probe for Measurement of Methane, Carbon Dioxide and Humidity
BLE-Beacon Technology
Technology Transfer for New Medicine Accelerated
Onshore and Offshore Safe Networking
10.4" XGA Industrial Display Kit IDK-1110P
Sendix ATEX / IECEx 70xx Encoders
Shaping the Future—the Ethernet-APL Field Switch
From Buffalo Mozzarella to Green Energy
Efficient Supply and Transport of Goods
Looking Forward to.... 2017 HANNOVER MESSE
Electromagnetic Flowmeter Proline Promag D 400
Torque Sensors and maXYmos TL Monitors
Facing the Challenge: Modern Teleservice and Telecontrol
PLC with color touchscreen HMI & snap-in I/Os
Totally Integrated Automation
Ex Remote I/O Solution