Load tests undertaken on Ethernet-APL

03 April 2023

Endress+Hauser has successfully conducted two load tests of a realistic Ethernet-APL setup with components from various manufacturers. The results confirm the new technology’s reputation as a game-changer in industrial communication.

Ethernet-APL enables the use of Ethernet at the field level of process plants. The two-wire technology with power and communication over the same wire pair meets the requirements of even harsh process environments. Fast and digital data transmission with high bandwidth is now possible over long distances and in explosive atmospheres. Easy access to data from field instruments can lift process automation to a new level of efficiency and professionalism.

The load tests were designed according to customer specifications to prove that components from different manufacturers can be combined to create a reliable and robust system based on Ethernet-APL. BASF defined the requirements from the customers’ point of view. On the hardware suppliers’ side, Endress+Hauser stood next to Pepperl+Fuchs, Honeywell and ABB. Their components were confirmed to work together in harmony.

The first test was set up with nearly 240 Endress+Hauser measuring devices, including flow, pressure, temperature and level sensors. They were integrated into a system with Pepperl+Fuchs’ field switches and a Honeywell control system, all using Ethernet-APL and PROFINET. 

For the second test ABB provided the control system and was tested along with the previous field switches and measuring devices. 

The test results  showed that Ethernet-APL can be used under realistic circumstances. The test cases were carried out with maximum network layout, and the scalability and fault tolerance were successfully verified. All relevant requirements like total netload or redundancy switch-over times were met or exceeded.

The Endress+Hauser Open Integration partner program unites more than a dozen manufacturers that want to ensure the streamlined interaction of their complementary products. The partners test and document the integration of their offerings and how digitalisation may be fully utilised within typical process automation applications.


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