commModule APL, a new hardware module from Softing Industrial Automation, is designed to support device manufacturers in implementing Ethernet-APL field devices for the process industry quickly and reliably.
Ethernet Advanced Physical Layer (Ethernet-APL) is the new standard for end-to-end digital communication in the process industry and is also suitable for use in hazardous areas. Device manufacturers will have to prepare themselves for growing demand from end-users for this modern data transmission technology. They now face the challenge of developing and certifying new Ethernet-APL-capable devices within the shortest possible time-to-market – ideally without having to build up extensive specialist knowledge of Ethernet-APL. As a ready-to-use and pre-certified hardware for the implementation of Ethernet-APL field devices, commModule APL supports manufacturers in exactly this challenge.
The hardware module provides connectivity to Ethernet-APL as well as an application software that can be easily configured to implement the required behavior of the respective field device. commModule-APL is delivered with a pre-installed PROFINET stack. It provides a configurable application data model and commands mapping to migrate existing HART and Modbus devices to Ethernet-APL. This does not require writing a single line of code. The assignment to HART or Modbus commands is done with the accompanying commScripter tool. commModule APL has already passed comprehensive EMC (electromagnetic compatibility) and environmental testing, as well as conformance testing for the Ethernet-APL Physical Layer and for the PROFINET protocol with PA Profile 4.02. It is also pre-certified in accordance with ATEX and IECEx. These features drastically reduce the effort, risk and time required to develop device hardware.