Long, Long Ago in the Land of Cleve, Part 2

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Continuing the report from the Cleveland PROFINET one-day training class…

That interesting comment that deserves a longer response: “Was not any discussion of economics – PROFINET vs. competitors.  Not sure how PROFINET is funded.  How end users pay.  Software cost and licensing.  How comparisons of cost vary per vendor.”

I always focus on the technology and sometimes forget my experience as a user where “cost is a legitimate design parameter.”  In this case, I don’t have an answer, so perhaps some PI North America members who deal in PROFINET as well as the other technologies can comment.  I expect pricing varies little from one Industrial Ethernet to another.

PROFINET is funded by membership in PI (PROFIBUS and PROFINET International) individual Regional PI Associations (RPAs) like PI North America.  Membership is very reasonably priced and is based on vendor company size (except users, SIs, and distributors all pay a flat fee).  Members work in a collaborative Technical Committee and Working Group structure.  Currently there are over 500 engineers working in over 50 separate working groups.  You don’t have to be a member to use the technology; it’s an open standard with the specification available from IEC.  Nor is there a cost for users other than the price of the hardware and software they buy.

As far as PROFINET pricing from one vendor to another: I have no idea.  We have vendors in the room for the class and I’ll send every attendee those vendors’ email addresses when I send a “thank you” email shortly.  So you can contact them directly for the kinds of products you’re interested in.

–Carl Henning

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