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The official email newsletter of the PTO in North America Issue 13 Mar 2007













DOWNLOAD A COPY OF PRETTY POLLY, SWEET SUE AND THE WHITE KNIGHTSatisfyingly, fresh outbreaks of 'Parrot Marketing' have not been detected recently. We are maintaining vigilance and will let you know if anyone breaks the silence. Meanwhile, here's another useful clarification, this one about PROFIBUS scan times.

Myth: PROFIBUS has a random scan and FOUNDATION Fieldbus has a fixed scan.

Response: A Standard PROFIBUS scan is where the master polls each slave in sequence. At the end of each cycle, the master has time to do any acyclic reads/writes to one of its slaves. This 'acyclic' communication is used to read and write parameters and diagnostic information. If there are no acyclic reads/writes, then the scan is constant. If there are some acyclic reads/writes, then there is a variation in the scan of 20 to 40ms. However, the scan is monitored by a 'watchdog' timer to ensure that the scan occurs within a maximum time. This is not a 'random' scan. In DP-V2 of the PROFIBUS standard, an additional scan type was introduced called 'Isochrone Scan'. This has the PROFIBUS and the controller scan times synchronized and fixed: the master scans all inputs and then has a fixed time to do any acyclic communications, and then runs the control software. This is equivalent to the FOUNDATION Fieldbus fixed scan rate if control in the field is being used. If the FOUNDATION Fieldbus configuration is using centralized control, then PROFIBUS Isochrone mode would be more deterministic since FOUNDATION Fieldbus' hosts' scan runs asynchronously to the bus scan.

Download Polly's pdf to learn more about PROFINET myths and facts.

PROFINET WELCOMES THE COMPETITIONPROFINET ADVERTISING CAMPAIGN ROLLS OUT: PTO began a series of display advertisements in Control Engineering and Automation World in February, making the point that PROFINET is the only Industrial Ethernet solution that does not seek to displace its competitors. PROFINET recognizes that most users don't want to obsolete the existing equipment and skills that are delivering benefits today. Instead, it uses 'proxies' to integrate them easily into PROFINET-based control strategies. Proxies are (or soon will be) available for FOUNDATION Fieldbus, HART, DeviceNet, Interbus, Modbus, Serial and others - plus PROFIBUS itself of course. Simple, transparent, connectivity today for the whole plant is the result making PROFINET an ideal common Industrial Ethernet solution for automation. There's a special microsite here, with more information.
EDUCATION, EDUCATION, EDUCATION: Convincing end users to take up the massive benefits of industrial networks like PROFIBUS and PROFINET is one of PTO's key raisons d'être. Only three things are important in this process - Education, Education and, oh yes, Education! It's our front line in fact, and for five years PTO has led the field with training classes, developers workshops and more. Here's a run-down of 2007 events:
  • FREE TRAINING: The 2007 series of FREE one-day training classes started March 6th with a Process day in Augusta. There are 26 cities in the initial schedule and more will be added. These classes are educational events with three curricula centering on PROFIBUS, PROFIBUS in the process industry and PROFINET. Keep monitoring the Schedule here to find a course near you. For updates please visit this page or monitor this page.

    STOP PRESS: Tomorrow (March 15) marks the debut of a new, more in-depth PROFINET curriculum in Kansas City. Register now!

    PLUS, new this year
    : all attendees will receive a certificate for 5.5 PDH (Professional Development Hours). In addition, all attendees of PROFIBUS and PROFINET classes will participate in a raffle for a free seat in a Certified Network Engineer class (= $2,695 value).

  • CERTIFIED ENGINEER TRAINING: Want to enhance your company's strengths in PROFIBUS and/or PROFINET? Boost your career potential too? Then why not attend one of our five-day certified training courses and earn yourself certified 'PROFItech' status? 2007 dates here

  • PROFINET DEVELOPERS' WORKSHOPS: Last year PTO held only one; this year it'll be three, indicating that PROFINET is moving center-stage for many vendors. The PTO has assembled the major suppliers of PROFINET development tools in one room so potential users can select the development tools that best fulfill their requirements. ARC Advisory Group provides a market overview and industry expert Harry Forbes speaks about the explosive growth of Industrial Ethernet. The PROFI Interface Center provides a high-level look at applications and the tools available to address them. Workshops are scheduled for Detroit on May 22, Scottsdale on July 31, and Boston in October. For more details and links to registration visit this page or call 480-483-2456.

  • ETHERNET BASICS WEBINARS: PTO has launched a series of Webinars about Ethernet Basics! This year the PROFINET one-day training events will focus on PROFINET, with only a brief overview of Ethernet. Three Ethernet Basics webinars will fill the void. Find details here for upcoming webinars and here for archived versions. We may add some additional Ethernet Basics coverage if there is a demand for more details.

PROFINET AND MES - CLOSING THE COMMUNICATION GAP: PTO's parent organization PI is the first Industrial Ethernet organization to formally address how Ethernet network interfaces to higher level systems such as MES should be standardized. It has just released the 'PROFINET and MES Maintenance Operations' guideline, which describes interface functions supporting maintenance systems and facilitating consistent communication from the field up to Top management. While interfaces between MES (Manufacturing Execution Systems) and ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) are defined in ISO/IEC 62264, the new PROFINET specification defines an open interface between MES and automation systems for maintenance. This has closed a communication gap, as no standards previously existed relating to how the automation information should be provided. Another MES-relevant PROFINET standard is the guideline 'Identification and Maintenance Functions" (I&M functions). I&M functions contain the so-called 'electronic type plate' which is saved in a device and used for selecting spare parts, procuring and storing products, planning device updates and establishing a direct link to the device vendor. For more details of 'PROFINET and MES Maintenance Operations' see this article on the PI Web site.

TOOL CALLING INTERFACE: PI has completed the TCI (Tool Calling Interface) specification after less than a year of development work. TCI is a manufacturer-independent interface for engineering. It allows dynamic parameters to be loaded to PROFIBUS and PROFINET devices from a variety of vendor-specific engineering tools via a common interface, making it much quicker and easier for users to configure systems and machines. With TCI, PI has defined the interface for a range of device and automation-system tools, thus supporting standardized communications with field devices over network boundaries. From the user's point of view, integrating TCI is as simple as installing a printer on a PC. The manufacturer of an intelligent field device defines the functionality in an XML file configured to be used with different field devices. No specific communication knowledge is required so engineers can establish contact with, and parameterize and diagnose, PROFIBUS/PROFINET devices without much effort. An associated feature is a standardized storage path within an automation project. This enables parameters and programs stored during engineering to be archived and/or reloaded. The TCI specification has been developed in collaboration with AIDA (Automatisierungsinitiative Deutscher Automobilhersteller - Automation Initiative of German Automobile Manufacturers). It can be downloaded (free of charge for PI members) from this address. It's also worth reading this about I&M Functions.

DOWNLOAD PROFINET FLYERPROFINET LINKS TO FIELDBUSES AND HART TO SUPPORT PROCESS USERS: PI is encouraging the widespread use of PROFINET as a common Industrial Ethernet solution for process automation by defining how PROFIBUS PA, HART and FOUNDATION Fieldbus can be integrated easily via 'proxies'. The PI Working Group 'DCS Requirements' is working with NAMUR to define the requirements, which will then be implemented by other Working Groups. The integration of PROFIBUS PA is complete. HART is nearing completion and work has begun on FOUNDATION Fieldbus - with expected completion in 2007. Then, HART, PROFIBUS PA and FOUNDATION Fieldbus process instruments will be able to operate unchanged under PROFINET. PI working groups will also consider system redundancy, time synchronization and stamping, and engineering. In conjunction with the MES interfaces (above), this promises powerful management capabilities for process plants. Read more here.

DETAILS OF THE MOVIE HEREPROFIsafe BRINGS MASSIVE SAVINGS AT AUTO PLANT: 'Safety: The Movie', has just finished its successful run across North America, visiting PTO's home town Phoenix in February. The PTO's Mike Bryant played a significant role in the film so PTO staff were pleased to be invited to watch their local showing. The movie argues that integrating safety and control brings major economic and functional benefits if they are designed into the plant from scratch. KUKA robots feature in the film too, at the DaimlerChrysler plant in Toledo, where the Jeep Wrangler is produced. A comprehensive account of how the KUKA robots reduced safety components by 85% at DaimlerChrysler and improved machine safety can be found here. It's well worth reading for the words of the KUKA engineer who said: "We built the system in no time and commissioning was surprisingly easy. This approach has saved us $10's of thousands on the first installation alone."

EMERGENCY STOP: PROFIsafe has just been nominated as a pre-standard by the Chinese Standardization Authorities, under GB/Z 20830 - 2007.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY PROFIBLOG: Carl Henning's PROFIblog is one year old! Cool comments, perspicacious perspectives and incisive insights make this one of the most popular blogs in the automation world. Here's a taste of the blogging activity at present. Why not be entertained, educated and informed? Visit PROFIblog today. While you are there, be sure to leave a comment; blogs are more interesting as dialogs than monologs! And remember to insert the RSS web feed into your browser so you can be updated automatically.


TURCK JOINS PTO BOARD: The PTO has appointed Robb Black as the newest member of the PTO Board of Directors. Mr. Black is the Director of the Network & Interface Division at TURCK Inc., Minneapolis, MN, an industry leader of quality automation components and solutions for factory and process applications. He has a degree in Electrical Engineering from Marquette University and a Master’s degree in Management from Cardinal Stritch College. His 19-year background in the industrial market includes extensive experience in various sensor technologies, industrial device level networks and RFID for both the factory and process automation markets. Mr. Black has been with TURCK for 14 years and is responsible for product management of three groups within his division: Media (cables, cordsets and connectors for device level networks), I/O Products (Ethernet, DeviceNet and PROFIBUS) and Intrinsic Safety (barriers, FISCO, and others). “TURCK is committed to promoting 'open' technologies like PROFIBUS and PROFINET because we believe these technologies will continue to benefit not only the user, but the manufacturer,” Black said. “This is an exciting opportunity for me to work closely with the PTO and stay on the cutting edge of the world's leading fieldbus technology.”


POLAND: PNO Poland is ramping up its activities. It recently organized a 2-day PROFIBUS/PROFINET Conference in South Poland, attended by more than 60 delegates. New members received their Certificate of Membership. Slide presentations and photos can be found at BRAZIL: During the ISA Show Brazil in November, the Brazil Latin America RPA organized another Case Study Seminar at which four PROFIBUS applications were presented. Topics included the integration of PROFIBUS and Modbus using an HMS gateway, PROFIBUS in two Sugar and Alcohol Mills, PROFIBUS in a Petrobas petroleum platform. UK: A special presentation for process users has been announced as part of the ongoing training and educational program organized by the PROFIBUS Group. Back by popular demand is the FREE seminar called 'Practical Aspects of PROFIBUS PA in Process'. More information from SOUTH EAST ASIA: With a total of over 3500 delegates during 2006, RPA SEA achieved its target of reaching 300+ customers per country in its second Road Show series. 2007 venues include Singapore, Penang, Bangkok and Rayong. If you'd like to take part in this campaign email here. MIDDLE EAST: News of the formal establishment of this Regional PROFIBUS Association is imminent. Certified PROFIBUS Engineer training sessions run by PROCENTEC from the Netherlands have already happened. STOP PRESS ... The number of PROFIBUS nodes sold by the end of 2006 is to be announced shortly. A figure in excess of 18 million has been predicted which, if true, means our 20 million target by end of 2008 will be easily exceeded ... possibly this year! Watch this space for confirmation.


NORTH AMERICA / FAULT FINDING: Recently, PTO member Softing received a support call from a customer asking for help with his PROFIBUS installation. His conveying application was controlled by a S7-400 PLC communicating over PROFIBUS with multiple drives and several I/O’s. A dramatic increase in PROFIBUS network faults was forcing the S7 into frequent stop-modes.

Network monitoring tools and frame analyzers did not reveal any problems. Everything looked just fine. So what was wrong with the PROFIBUS network? In order to understand the issue Softing had to dig a little deeper into the physical layer of the network.

PROFIBUS, although a digital communication protocol, is using an analog signal (a voltage level) to transmit its digital content over the wire, as do all fieldbuses. The receiver of a PROFIBUS message 'sees' a voltage level that alternates between high and low. Each level corresponds to a '1' or a '0'.

As a signal travels through the wire, the voltage level is dampened or distorted by many factors including cable resistance and bad or corroded connections/connectors. At some point the signal can get so weak that a receiver cannot distinguish between high or low voltage levels and thus, cannot decipher the PROFIBUS message.

Communication errors at this level are typically identified by electrical engineers using an oscilloscope to analyze the signal quality at a test point. Softing’s software-based cable tester PB-T3, with its simple user interface (see right), is designed to automatically analyze communication problems based on electrical issues without the need for an oscilloscope or expertise in electrical engineering. The tool automatically analyzes the signal quality of each connected device and displays the result in a bar chart. Devices with insufficient signal strength are highlighted in color for easy identification.

At the customer site, Softing’s PB-T3 was connected to the network and the support engineer recognized immediately that the signal level of one PROFIBUS device was insufficient. All intermittent PROFIBUS faults could be traced back to this weak signal level. On occasion, the signal level dropped below an acceptable threshold for the PLC, resulting in a communication fault that forced the PLC into stop-mode. By connecting the PB-T3 at multiple locations on the network the exact location of the fault was determined - a corroded connector located in a vibrating electrical cabinet. Contact Softing USA or

NEW PROFIBUS PA BOOK: A new book about PROFIBUS PA has been published in conjunction with the PA Marketing Working Group of PI. It gives an excellent overview of the complete PA range and is a valuable tool for all people who deal with PROFIBUS PA – end users, maintenance people, planners, engineers, developers of PA devices, etc. The book, titled 'PROFIBUS PA' is authored by two of the most respected experts in PROFIBUS PA - Christian Diedrich and Thomas Bangemann - with assistance from others, and is available in English. It includes an overview of the basic functionality of process devices using PROFIBUS PA in process engineering, especially in hybrid applications. Also included are a comprehensive look at deeper technology issues such as transmission and installation, ex zones and the FISCO concept. Chapters on device integration, device development and interoperability testing make this an indispensable reference for experienced engineers and newcomers alike. (ISBN 978-3-8356-3125-0).


GET PROFINET ENABLED IN HOURS!: Want to become PROFINET-enabled in just 45 Hours? That's the promise from Real Time Automation which has just announced the release of its Exlink PROFINET enabler. Using the ExLink 6102 means getting your product onto PROFINET now, not in 14 months, says RTA, with working prototypes in as little 45 hours. The device is a tad larger than two dice and includes a powerful ARM7TDMI RISC Controller with high speed serial communications. The solution will pass Industry Standard Conformance Tests, provides easy-to-use Web Server configuration and supports additional features like PLC5E, SLC5/05 comms, serial tunneling and off-the-shelf TCP communications! Incorporated are a fully featured TCP/IP stack including support for Web Pages, Java Applets and email. Real Time Automation: 800-249-1612.


PROFIBUS DP CABLES: Northwire has a line of new DataCELL FIELD PROFIBUS DP cables. Constructed to comply with PROFIBUS specification EN50170-2-2:1996 the product line includes several exclusive versions:
  • ITC/PLTC-ER cable: for factory-floor installations; exposed-run-rated-eliminates the need for conduit (when installed in accordance with recent NEC amendments); UL listed; CSA CMX-Outdoor-CMG and FT4
  • AWM cable: for machine builders and OEM applications; especially ideal for machine-tool applications; rugged PUR outer jacket for superior oil, chemical, cut and abrasion resistance; UL recognized and RoHS compliant; marine/shipboard cable; arctic-rated for use to -55º C
  • Listed UL 1309 marine shipboard type C22X110T " Tough TPE outer jacket " Armored version offered
All cables are available with the standard violet outer jacket or other colors, and are shipped direct from factory in 1,000 ft. minimum put-ups. Northwire: 1.800.468.1516 or


FIBER-OPTIC CONVERTERS: Phoenix Contact has announced two new PSI-MOS PROFIBUS fiber-optic converters, with conformal-coated printed circuit boards designed primarily for use in the shipbuilding and marine industries. Conformal coating gives added protection from salt water, as well as moisture, dust and other corrosives commonly found in industrial environments. In addition, all the company's copper to fiber-optic media converters are now approved for use in the UL Class 1, Division 2, hazardous locations commonly found in the petroleum, chemical, pharmaceutical and water/wastewater industries. Phoenix Contact: or 800-322-3225 or



INDUSTRIAL ETHERNET SWITCHES: Woodhead Industries has introduced Direct-Link Industrial Ethernet switches. Direct-Link switches support both unmanaged and managed applications and are available in a variety of configurations that support both copper and fiber wiring. They can be DIN rail or panel mounted. Services include VLAN and IGMP, SNMP, RMON and Port Mirroring. Rapid Spanning Tree Protocol for fault-tolerant loops and redundant power supply are also supported. Configuration can be done using the local RJ-45 configuration port, or by a remote web interface provided with the switch. For additional diagnostic support, Direct-Link SNMP Management Suite (SNMP MS) is also available. Based on OPC, this tool converts SNMP agents for display in an HMI application. Woodhead Industries: or


TROUBLESHOOTING TOOLKIT: For engineers, installers and maintenance technicians PROCENTEC, supported in North America by Grid Connect, offers a PROFIBUS Troubleshooting Toolkit equipped with all required tools to maintain and troubleshoot a PROFIBUS network efficiently. PROCENTEC support engineers have extensive experience in the field and created this first class toolkit which they use themselves. Grid Connect.




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