HMS. In the OPC Foundation booth, our old friend Michael Volz showed me an HMS module that moves PROFINET data to OPC UA. Both protocols run on the same wire – a benefit made possible because PROFINET and OPC UA ride on standard Ethernet.
Siemens. The sexy part of the Industrial Internet of Things and Industrie 4.0 is not PROFINET, but the historization and analysis of that PROFINET data. A lot of big companies are providing solutions for that space including PI North America members GE and Siemens. Siemens offers Mindsphere and I visited their booth to learn more about it. It moves PROFINET (and other data) to the cloud via OPC UA. In fact Siemens showcased nine OPC UA enabled products. PROFINET to OPC UA is our expected path to the cloud. More on Mindsphere. A video interview from Control Engineering provides some detail (in front of the display which somehow represents data moving upward to be analyzed in the cloud.)
Turck. There were two quite clever products introduced in the Turck booth. First up, they have added logic capabilities to their block I/O modules. They have named these Field Logic Controllers. They’re programed using just a browser. There are two ways to program: ARGEE FLOW and ARGEE PRO. FLOW uses Boolean logic and two timers and counters. PRO adds arithmetic operations, more timers and counters, and lots more. And of course you can use PROFINET to communicate with a PLC.
- 2 PROFIsafe inputs
- 2 PROFIsafe channels that can be inputs or outputs
- 4 standard I/O channels, configurable as inputs or outputs
- 2 IO-Link Masters that can connect to additional IO-Link hubs
Balluff. New cameras with PROFINET connectivity were part of a demo in the Balluff booth. These are so new that they are not available in North America yet. So watch PROFINEWS for the new product announcement.
Phoenix Contact. HART and PROFINET are complementary technologies. (See Complementing PROFINET.) Phoenix Contact was showing a new product that allowed up to 40 HART connections to connect to PROFINET. HART is slow so the acyclical configuration and diagnostic information will not arrive in real time, but the product is less expensive than a HART handheld and less expensive than dedicated, backplane-mounted HART I/O. Another reason why PROFINET is the ideal backbone for process applications, not just factory applications.
The PROFINET product portfolio continues to grow!