Wednesday 24 August 2022

Test and Registration Services for Ethernet-APL.

FieldComm Group provides conformance testing and registration for leading industrial instrumentation technologies for the process automation sector, now Ethernet-APL solutions join the portfolio of registered products with the availability of physical layer conformance testing for Ethernet-APL infrastructure products — power switches and field switches.

Ethernet-APL is an enhanced physical layer for single-pair Ethernet (SPE) based on 10BASET1L. This new physical layer provides end-users with a resilient, isolated and powered Ethernet network for process automation. Ethernet-APL enabled field devices connect directly to this network. Switches registered with FieldComm Group undergo conformance tests for crucial aspects of the physical layer of the new technology: EMC, Data and Power.

Gunther Rogoll, Manager of Fieldbus Technology for Pepperl+Fuchs expressed excitement for this milestone. “We are thrilled to have the first registered Ethernet-APL switches, the Rail Field Switches including up to 24 intrinsically safe Ex ic spur ports, with FieldComm Group. We have recently been working with FieldComm Group to create test policies and procedures for infrastructure products like field switches and power switches usable by all test and registration authorities in the Ethernet-APL consortium, including ODVA, OPC Foundation, and PROFIBUS & PROFINET International. This effort will ensure conformance to the Ethernet APL standards independent of test agency.” 

FieldComm Group has worked closely with ODVA, OPC Foundation, and PROFIBUS & PROFINET International in a concerted collaboration in developing the test specifications and processes for Ethernet-APL products.

“Conformance to the Ethernet-APL standard strengthens the process automation industry as a whole,” explains Ted Masters, President, and CEO of FieldComm Group. “We are excited for this opportunity to provide testing and registration of Ethernet-APL Infrastructure Products, a major component of the Ethernet-APL ecosystem. This is the first step towards a complete suite of registration services from FieldComm Group for Ethernet-APL products to fulfill the field-to-cloud initiative brought forth by Ethernet-based technologies.”

He continued, “As additional innovative products join the digital evolution of process automation we will see HART-IP field devices and other infrastructure products completing our registration process, expanding the breadth of fast and secure process data delivery for cloud-based analytics and optimization.”

FieldComm Group has developed a conformity assessment system to support Ethernet-APL switching hardware. FieldComm Group assesses products for overall conformity to the Ethernet-APL standards using a combination of test results from specialized laboratories and in-house testing services. Products are evaluated against the latest test specifications to ensure consistent EMC immunity and emissions of products; the functionality of the PMA, PCS, PHY Control, and Auto-Negotiation sublayer; and the correct implementation of Port Profiles electrical characteristics such as noise and power for Intrinsic Safety. Product owners who submit conformant Ethernet-APL infrastructure hardware receive a conformance report, certificate and listing on the FieldComm Group Product Registry.

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