Process plants today compete to produce more products with less waste, and thin profit margins require increased output yield with increasing quality. Digital transformation has made it increasingly worthwhile for companies to consider making investments to obtain more plant data from process automation systems and instrumentation. However, to do so, new procedures and products are required to gain access to this data from every part of the plant and to extract more value on every production run. 

Leading suppliers to process automation recognize the need from their customers to add the universality and communication speed of standard Ethernet to existing field device installations. A key group of these leading suppliers and standards development organizations have come together with the goal of accelerating development and adopting a new open standard for an Ethernet physical layer for the use in process automation and instrumentation that can be deployed in hazardous areas, allow long-reach connectivity, and include an option for device power over the line.

This new Ethernet advanced physical layer, Ethernet-APL, together with the automation protocols that define the structure and meaning of information being transmitted to and from field devices, will be one of the key enabling factors of the IIoT in process automation. It will provide a vital prerequisite to extend the digitized world to process automation and instrumentation.

FieldComm Group is a founding member of the Ethernet-APL Project and played a key role in the development of specification, conformance, and marketing strategy for the Project.

Ethernet-APL Explained

Ethernet-APL is an enhanced physical layer for single-pair Ethernet (SPE) based on 10BASET1L. It communicates via a cable length of up to 1000 m at 10 MBit/s, full-duplex, which is more than 300 times faster than current technologies, such as HART or fieldbus.

Ethernet-APL Technical Paper

The Ethernet-APL technical paper provides an overview of the technology and its benefits within the process industry.


All Ethernet-APL development requires the use of the Ethernet-APL Specifications. The Ethernet-APL Specifications kit is a collection of 3 documents, which can be viewed by anyone in our Document Library.

Ethernet-APL Engineering Guideline

Find out about the planning process, the installation process and the acceptance testing of Ethernet networks with the Ethernet Advanced Physical Layer (Ethernet-APL) in this engineering guide. Available in English and German.


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