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The official email newsletter of the PTO in North America Issue 14 May 2007












DOWNLOAD A COPY OF PRETTY POLLY, SWEET SUE AND THE WHITE KNIGHTStandard Unmodified Ethernet (SUE) made a modest return recently, in the form of a discussion point on weblogs, including Gary Mintchell's. The intro discussion attracted a comment from the PTO's Carl Henning. Read the original posts here and click the 'comment' link to read Carl's riposte.

Have you any PROFIBUS or PROFINET myths to report. If so, let us know.

Download Polly's pdf to learn more about PROFINET myths, especially SUE, and the facts.

THE MOST SUCCESSFUL FIELDBUS IN HISTORY: PI, the umbrella organization of PROFIBUS and PROFINET, recently announced that PROFIBUS passed an important milestone in 2006. A further 3.4 million PROFIBUS-equipped devices were sold. Not only was this the largest annual total ever but it also brought the total number of installed nodes to 18.8 million. How do we know how many? We count the chips. Almost all PROFIBUS devices use an Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) to unload communication tasks from the main device CPU. These chips are available from a number of suppliers who provide us with an accounting of their numbers. No other fieldbus comes close to our total, making PROFIBUS the most successful fieldbus in history. The story gets better too, because the rate at which PROFIBUS is gaining new users is accelerating, which means that the 2004 prediction of 20 million devices by 2008 will be reached early - possibly by the time you read this! What next? 30 million?

TURN AND COUGH FOR PROFINETPROFINET ADVERTISING CAMPAIGN ROLLS ON: PTO began a series of display advertisements in Control Engineering and Automation World in February. The initial ad - 'We Don't Eliminate the Competition. We Integrate Them' - made the point that PROFINET is the only Industrial Ethernet solution that does not seek to displace its competitors but welcomes them on-board via a unique 'proxy' solution that has already provided an interface for PROFIBUS (naturally!). Other proxies allow the PROFIBUS PA solution for process automation to be incorporated, plus DeviceNet, Interbus, Modbus, Serial, HART and, soon, Foundation Fieldbus! A second ad is starting now, focused on the unique diagnostic capabilities of PROFINET. The headline - 'Turn and Cough' - should raise a smile at least! Special microsites have been built for both: read 'Don't Eliminate' and 'Turn and Cough'.

DOWNLOAD BROCHUREINDUSTRIAL ETHERNET WEBINARS: Ever wondered what Ethernet is? Especially in the context of automation? Want to use PROFINET yet don't know enough about the underlying fundamentals? At our PROFINET seminars we've found that many questions appertain to Ethernet itself so we've developed a way to help you learn more by introducing Webinars. Carl Henning blogged about the first one here or you can jump to our archives here and follow it and subsequent ones at your leisure. Find details here for upcoming webinars. We may add some additional Ethernet Basics coverage if there is a demand. Let us know. There's also a pdf here that tells you more.

EDUCATION, EDUCATION, EDUCATION: Analysts tell us that more than 50% of plants still don't use digital networking technology! This means the biggest potential growth market is still largely untapped and untouched. The most important role for PTO staff, therefore, is summed up by these three words - Education, Education and, oh yes, Education! Getting end users to think of using digital technology is one major goal. Getting them to pick PROFIBUS and PROFINET comes close after. PTO meets this challenge with an ongoing series of Road Shows, Seminars and Workshops that covers all North American regions. Follow the links below for more information about PTO events in your area.

  • FREE TRAINING: The 2007 series of FREE one-day training classes 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. All attendees receive a certificate for 5.5 PDH (Professional Development Hours). Attendees of PROFIBUS and PROFINET one-day training events participate in a raffle for a free seat in a Certified Network Engineer class (= $2,695 value).

  • PROFINET DEVELOPER WORKSHOPS: We've announced three PROFINET Developer Workshops to provide potential developers with information they need to select a development partner. The workshops are designed for device developers, development managers and product marketers. The objectives are to provide delegates with technical information and enable them to meet and talk with a variety of PROFINET tool vendors. Industrial Ethernet is a continually growing force in factory automation and we want developers to be completely knowledgeable about the latest tools. We've assembled major suppliers of PROFINET development tools in one room so potential users can select the ones that best fulfill their requirements. During the workshop, the ARC Advisory Group provides a market overview. The PTO will give an overview on PROFINET and the PROFI Interface Center will provide a high-level look at various tools and applications. Exhibitors include: Comtrol Corporation, Hilscher North America, Inc., HMS Industrial Networks, Inc., IXXAT, Inc., Real Time Automation, Siemens Energy & Automation, and Softing North America. The workshops are entirely free of cost or obligation. Coffee, a light breakfast, lunch and a hosted bar are provided. Workshops are scheduled for Detroit (May 22), Scottsdale (July 31), and Boston in October. To register visit the relevant link or call 480-483-2456.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY SET FOR AUGUST: The PTO’s 13th Annual General Assembly Meeting will begin on Tuesday evening, July 31, with a Welcome Reception. August 1st and 2nd will be filled with meetings to provide vendor and user members with updates, news, and networking possibilities. Visiting experts, magazine editors and users will present. Immediately preceding the General Assembly Meeting are two free training classes. The first is a PROFINET IRT class on Monday afternoon July 30. Details will be published shortly. All-day Tuesday, the west coast PROFINET Developer Workshop will be conducted. You don’t have to be attending the General Assembly Meeting to participate in these free classes. You can register for the PROFINET Developer Workshop here. The workshop is targeted at device manufacturers to assist them in speedy development of PROFINET products. Details and registration for the PROFINET IRT class will be available soon.


  • PROFINET AND MES - CLOSING THE COMMUNICATION GAP: PI, the umbrella organization of which PTO is a part, 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. The White Paper is available here.

  • TOOL CALLING INTERFACE: TCI is a manufacturer-independent interface for engineering tools. 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. The TCI specification has been developed in collaboration with AIDA (the Automatisierungsinitiative Deutscher Automobilhersteller - Automation Initiative of German Automobile Manufacturers). The White Paper can be found here.

  • PROFINET IN THE PROCESS INDUSTRIES. As a backbone network, PROFINET is ideally suited to the task of surfacing process data stored in control systems and field devices. Media gaps that hinder the flow of critical data between process equipment and enterprise systems can be bridged with PROFINET proxies, creating an all-encompassing network architecture that brings the now ubiquitous industrial Ethernet into the process plant. The White Paper, by market analysts ARC Advisory, can be read here.

BLOGGING IN THE INDUSTRIAL AUTOMATION SPACE: Are you using Internet Explorer 7? Then you can easily take advantage of the industrial automation blogs that are out there. By doing so you can follow topical debates, see how the industry is moving and pick up plenty of tips about latest technology. And you don't even have to keep accessing web sites to do it - simply use the RSS or Atom news feeds provided by most of them and receive alerts each time something of interest crops up. Look for the icon shown above right to find available feeds. The PTO's Carl Henning was one of the first to offer an automation blog and he remains one of the most active. Carl's even including videos now. His banter with the true pioneer of automation bloggers - Automation World's Gary Mintchell - is well worth reading. That hoary old myth about Standard Unmodified Ethernet is a current topic. Start here.

Not using IE7? The download one of the many specialist RSS readers, like this one.

CLICK TO SEE LARGER VERSION OF THE PROFINET WALLHANNOVER FAIR REVIEW: The PI booth was all-new this year. There was a 10-foot tall PROFINET wall (see right, click for larger version) made of translucent glass, showing 91 devices from 22 manufacturers, arranged from controllers on top, through drives in the middle, to IO on the bottom. The familiar “Automation Lounge” was retained and proved to be an excellent place to sit down and discuss the latest news. CLICK TO SEE A LARGER VERSION OF THE PI BOOTH AT HANNOVER FAIR.The booth (see our second picture left, again click for larger version) covered 220 square meters, with participation by 62 companies. The whole thing was sited alongside the Interbus Club booth which shared the lounge and seminar areas. Interbus, the second most popular fieldbus after PROFIBUS, is also supporting PROFINET, and the wall showed proxy products available for both PROFIBUS and Interbus devices. Carl Henning's blog provided a great, day by day, overview of the Fair and includes videos of the booth and other items! Check out his commentary.



MIDDLE EAST: A new RPA (Regional PROFIBUS Association) has been established in the region, based in Dubai. The launch meeting was held on February 12th to formally announce PROFIME (PROFIBUS Middle East) and attracted representatives from around the world of PI (pictured above). CZECH REPUBLIC: A new PI Test Lab for PROFINET has been established, with IRT and PROFIdrive expertise. Located at ANF Data, who became a PI Competence Center in early 2005, this brings the number of PROFINET test labs worldwide to four. CHINA: The 2006 CPO Members Meeting was held at the end of 2006 in Beijing, led by Mr. Jiyang Tang, the new CPO Chairman. 24 Member companies attended Three working groups covering Marketing, Technology and Standards, were founded. SOUTHERN AFRICA: PROFIBUS User Group Southern Africa will take part in the Process Show 2007, May 15 to 18, 2007, at the National Exhibition Center in Johannesburg. The PROFIBUS Breakfast tradition will also be continued there - on May 16. Another Breakfast is announced for Friday, May 11, 2007, at Durban. UK: The PROFIBUS International User Conference 2007 at Coombe Abbey, Coventry on June 26 and 27 will feature a keynote address from Alaister Gemmill, Engineering Manager of Enpure, a specialist systems supplier in the water industry. BELGIUM: In January, Antwerp was the scene of PROFIBUS Belgium's first 'Breakfast Event' (right). The theme, 'PROFIBUS in the Process Industry', addressed the question: how can PROFIBUS technology contribute to higher efficiency? The full Life Cycle Costs (LCC) or Total Costs of Ownership (TCO) are the key, said speakers, going on the explain how PROFIBUS provides best value.

NORTH AMERICA / WASTE WATER: The town of Rainsville, Alabama set itself the objective of raising the wastewater treatment capacity of its sewage treatment plant by an average of 30 percent, and increasing peak loads to improve the capability to capture run-off after heavy rainfalls. For the automation solution, the American systems company Hi-Tech Systems Inc. selected a network that uses PROFINET and Component Based Automation (CBA), which combines communication between the automation components with the advantages of IT solutions with remote diagnostics functions.

Many different kinds of municipal wastewater are routed into the municipal sewage treatment plant. The largest portion is sanitary sewage from private households, but factories also discharge their wastewater into the sewage system. If this is contaminated, for example, with chemicals from a pharmaceutical operation or organic material from a food processing plant, it must first be pretreated prior to allowing it to be discharged into the public sewage system. To protect inhabitants from pathogens, the wastewater is cleaned and disinfected in several process steps before it is fed back into the water circuit.

Bridging large distances Rainsville/Alabama has a flourishing textile industry. The municipal sewage treatment plant serves both commercial businesses as well as private households and extends over an area of 1.6 hectares. As a result, a communications solution capable of bridging distances greater than those normally encountered in a factory was required.

The plant comprises several different buildings, each equipped with Motion Control Centers (MCC) which handle the pumping and filtering functions of the inflowing and outflowing water through various treatment stages, including pretreatment and germfree ventilation as well as purification and disinfection. To link the various parts of the system, Hi-Tech Systems Inc. opted for a redundant fiber optic ring based on PROFINET. The ring has an overall length of 1,800 meters, with a distance between stations of at least 360 meters.

Scalance X-200 Industrial Ethernet switches, which are designed for use with both copper and fiber optic cables, control the data transport within the network. In addition, they possess an integrated manager for ring redundancy. The stations responsible for adding chemicals and other pumping tasks are linked to the network using Simatic ET 200S I/O modules which directly connected to the PROFINET main cable. A suitable HMI is necessary to enable the operator to view events at all times, even those at remote stations. The Thin Client technology of WinCC, which features a central server in the control room and 'thin' panels in the individual parts of the system, is the optimal solution in this case. It ensures that the operator can always view events, even if he is located at another station. Even when moving around the site, the operator is provided wireless access at all times to information on the system with the help of a Fujitsu-Siemens PC.

The facility for remote diagnostics includes a DSL/VPN connection to the main control room. All connected stations are accessible from this location, even those at remote locations.

Combined communications solution

The control architecture consists of the Simatic CPUs S7- 317-2 PN/DP with PROFIBUS and PROFINET interfaces, which are distributed across the entire sewage treatment plant. Hi-Tech Systems Inc. selected this combination of networks because the site already possesses drives that are networked for PROFIBUS, and because the customer required a solution whereby the controls and field devices could be programmed and configured using PROFINET. To facilitate the transmission of drive data to the main control room, the internal communications between PLC controllers were set up to use PROFINET/CBA. Consequently, data transmission need not be separately programmed, because each PLC is responsible for monitoring an MCC that is connected to the PROFIBUS.

The use of PROFINET offers a particular advantage with this application thanks to its ability to use IE/PB links to seamlessly route information from devices in the PROFIBUS network to devices in PROFINET. This option was a prerequisite for supporting the Simatic PDM Asset Management Tools, which are used for monitoring the drives. For programming and servicing purposes, technicians can also access every other device within the system from any PC that is connected to PROFINET or PROFIBUS. All objectives achieved with CBA The Hi-Tech Systems technicians were very satisfied with the PROFINET/CBA solution.

Engineering, installation and commissioning were performed smoothly without a hitch. With the easy integration of the building parts, an optimal solution for the plant extension was found, one that will also allow future remote pump stations to be integrated. The implementation of PROFIBUS also brought with it significant time savings during installation and testing. The project succeeded in doubling the performance capacity of the sewage treatment plant and will enable future extensions to be performed without any problem. This will require only one other PLC in addition to the current three.


DP/PA GATEWAY DTM: PALINKdtm is a PROFIBUS DP to PROFIBUS PA Gateway Device Type Manager (DTM) for the SIMATIC DP/PA Link. It provides quick and easy access to PA devices connected to DP/PA-Links from Siemens, especially when used with Softing's popular PROFIdtm. DP/PA Gateway DTM. It conforms to FDT specification version 1.2 and can simplify commissioning, diagnostics and maintenance. It assumes the role of a DP-V1 slave on a DP network and the role of a DP-V1 master on a PA network. There's automatic scan for devices on the PA segment, an integrated live list feature with detailed device information and support for FDT frame applications including CX-Profibus, fdtCONTAINER, FDT Navigator, FieldCare, FieldMate, PactWare™, SmartVision and others. Softing North America: +1 978 499 9650 or


M12 CONNECTORS FOR CAT5e: Woodhead Industries has a new line of M12 Ethernet connectors and cordsets. This rugged, industry-standard Ethernet connection system provides superior Cat5e performance from the office environment to the harsh, demanding environment of the factory floor. The new product line will be commercially available April, 2007. Key features include: standard M12 threaded connectors or the higher-performance Ultra-lock™ connection system, both unshielded and shielded versions, mechanically tough PVC-jacketed cable for general-purpose applications and PUR jacketed cable for increased flexibility and higher resistance to oil-based fluids and straight or 90° versions. M12 to RJ-45 versions are also available. Woodhead Industries.


PROFIBUS PA ASIC: Softing, in conjunction with Aniotek, has launched a new fieldbus chip UFC100-F1, a comprehensive yet economical solution to incorporating PROFIBUS PA technology into field devices. It's fully compatible with the Yamaha YTZ420 ('FIND1+'). The advantages include better performance in jitter tolerance and a larger FIFO memory resulting in fewer interrupts to the field device processor. It's compliant with IEC 61158-2 and the IEC 61158-4 Data Link Layer standard, and features integrated digital filter circuits providing significantly better noise immunity. Very low power consumption and wide operating temperature range are features. The design offers additional functionality for firmware engineers to enhance future products. Softing and Aniotek are committed to ensure long-term availability of the UFC100-F1. Softing North America: +1 978 499 9650 or


TOPOLOGY EDITOR FOR CONFIGURING PROFINET INFRASTRUCTURES: As Industrial Ethernet networks become more popular there is a growing need for accessible network infrastructure tools. So, Siemens has integrated a Topology Editor into the SIMATIC STEP 7 architecture, eliminating the need for a separate tool. Because it's integrated, operators may also view the status of the network infrastructure online, including the condition of Ethernet switches and wireless access points. STEP 7 scans the neighborhood relationships via SNMP and represents the topology of the PROFINET infrastructure graphically or in a table available online and offline. Siemens.


PROFINET SUPPORT FOR VISION SENSORS: Cognex Corporation has announced In-Sight® Explorer software release 3.4 for In-Sight vision sensors, including PROFINET communications support. "Adding PROFINET to the In-Sight suite is yet another example of how Cognex strives to support the latest industry standards for our customers," said Kris Nelson, Cognex Senior Vice President, Factory Automation. "With PROFINET, manufacturers can easily share and use data for process control and improvement, and more efficiently manage multiple vision sensors linked across the factory." In-Sight vision sensors allow trend analysis of archived data and images for continuous improvement and increased manufacturing productivity. A free trial version of the PROFINET software can be downloaded. Cognex: 1-877-COGNEX1 .


SERIAL TO PROFIBUS DP GATEWAY: BradCommunications' new Direct-Link gateway enables fast and cost-effective communications between Modbus Serial devices and the PROFIBUS-DP network. DIN rail mountable and rated for IP20 environments, Direct-Link is easy to configure using only the PROFIBUS GSD file and an existing PROFIBUS configuration tool. Parameters are sent to Direct-Link automatically via the PROFIBUS master, allowing replacement without need to change configurations. The Direct-Link gateway communicates on one side as a PROFIBUS-DP Slave and as a Modbus master or slave on the other side. Up to 20 Modbus slaves and up to 244 input/output bytes on PROFIBUS can be managed. It is also possible to integrate other protocols on the serial network. The Direct-Link gateway is well suited for simple network extensions or the integration of legacy devices found in all industries. Woodhead Industries.


IO-Link ENTRY LEVEL PRODUCTS: A new IO-Link Starter Kit from MESCO permits a cost-effective slave implementation. It's offered as a basic version or with different extensions, depending on the functional range required. The IO-Link Monitor analyses the communications, strings, cycle time and frame-specific properties. The IO-Link Diagnosis Box expands the reading and writing of parameters and acts as an IO-Link Master. Support for PC communication via USB has also been integrated. Mesco Systems:



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