Peter Welander writing in a Control Engineering article, “Opinion: Living in a legacy world, or where is “real-life” technology?” really captured my attention, saying, “Those two users reinforced something we see in many different ways—that companies may not be as concerned with the latest technologies as providers and those of us in the press might desire. Certainly some manufacturers want the most up-to-date of everything, but most move more slowly, adopting technology incrementally and tending to stay with what works.”
The word “incrementally” stopped me. It tells me that our philosophy with PROFIBUS and PROFINET is spot on. Industrial Ethernet is the present and the future, but fieldbuses are the past (bleeding into the present). Manufacturers cannot afford to rip out all their existing controls at once and replace them; they need to proceed incrementally. So PROFINET integrates PROFIBUS (of course), and also many other fieldbuses. This allows manufacturers to proceed incrementally. Step one, install PROFINET Industrial Ethernet in a new project or when integration is required. Step two, integrate existing fieldbuses, be they PROFIBUS, Interbus, DeviceNet, or whatever. This integration thing is a great concept; we should advertise it. Oh, wait, we already are.
The ad in Control Engineering and Automation World links to a microsite with more details here.