Industrial Communications in the Process Industries @ ARC Industry Forum Europe

By Constanze Schmitz

Technology Trends

In the process industries, industrial communication has been a quiet topic for a long time.  While the discrete industries were busy adding standardized technology for determination to industrial Ethernet, process users seemed content with HART technology to communication with field devices and using standard Ethernet only as a backbone network.  At the same time, the OPC Foundation has grown its technology offering from a simple communications protocol to an entire open architecture for all industry users.  For this year’s European Industry Forum, ARC will dedicate a whole morning session to developments in industrial communications and their effect on the process industries.

Industrial Communications

One of the most compelling technologies under development is Advanced Physical Layer (APL), which will extend IP connectivity down the “last mile” of cable to field instruments, including those that operate in hazardous areas.  Dr. Jörg Hähniche of Endress+Hauser, a board member of Profibus/Profinet International and chairman of the APL steering committee, will update the forum audience on the progress and roadmap of APL.

The FieldComm Group was founded by the merger of HART Communication Foundation, Fieldbus Foundation, and Field Device Integration (FDI).  Achim Laubenstein, Director of FDI Technology, will provide an update on the ongoing development of this influential consortium.

The OPC Foundation has worked for over 25 years to develop its suite of industry communications standards known collectively as OPC Unified Architecture.  Development continues in areas ranging from field level communication to companion specifications.  Peter Lutz, Director Field Level Communication, will provide of overview of OPC Foundation’s activities and will let us know what to expect in the future.

David W. Humphrey, Research Director at ARC Europe, will moderate a discussion panel immediately following the presentations.

The virtual ARC Industry Forum Europe 2020

Join us online at the annual ARC Industry Forum Europe in our new Virtual Forum format, May 18-20, 2020.  Learn more about how digitizing factories and infrastructure will benefit technology end users and suppliers alike.  Discover what your peers and industry leaders are doing today and the steps they are taking in their respective journeys.  To register and ask any questions you may have, please e-mail


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