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The official email newsletter of the PTO in North America Issue 16 September 2007












A busy month, proving that misunderstandings (or is it misinformation?) still abound! Here's a quote from 'Automation World's' August Issue, taken from an article about Networks and Compatibility:

Myth: "A number of Ethernet-based approaches have taken part of Ethernet, like the physical media, and to get real time or determinism, they corrupted the basic open stack. Using an unmodified stack is critical if you want to get all the benefits,” says Rockwell’s Kann, (vice president of business development at supplier Rockwell Automation Inc., in Milwaukee)

Response: PROFINET wasn't specifically mentioned but it, and all other Industrial Ethernets, were clearly the target. PROFINET uses more than the physical media of Ethernet; in fact we use all of Ethernet. We do achieve determinism. We have not corrupted anything. We use standard TCP/IP for many tasks, but we bypass it for real time messages using the standard Ethernet EtherType field to direct the message to the right place. PROFINET supports all the stack if you need it to, so TCP/IP messages can be transmitted when required. When it's not needed, we simply bypass it because it's a source of many delays and jitter that make a joke of real time UNLESS you take additional action. What's the point of bandaging TCP/IP when it can be bypassed, making real time much simpler to achieve? For detailed comparisons of the level of determinism achievable, read the article in the Industrial Ethernet Book: “Technical Article: Performance metrics for Industrial Ethernet"

PROFIBUS MARKET APPROACHES $50 BILLION: News in our previous issue that the number of installed PROFIBUS devices passed 20 million earlier this year has been upstaged by the prediction that the number could reach 30 million by 2010 and go higher still.

“PROFIBUS has achieved a very high level of acceptance industry-wide,” said PTO Executive Director Mike Bryant. “Automation users across the world are comfortable with the reliability, performance and cost-effectiveness of PROFIBUS and they have staff who are experienced in using the technology. It makes sense that they want to continue with PROFIBUS for as long as they can.”

"We estimate that 20 million installed devices represents a market value today of US$45-48 billion. The PROFIBUS market has therefore become a huge business for our member companies,” he said. “PROFIBUS has also helped users and integrators save money - 20 to 30% through reduced installation costs, and much reduced life cycle costs through the use of better asset management techniques and other maintenance benefits.”

PROFINET, PI’s Industrial Ethernet solution, is also ramping up sales. The huge installed base of PROFIBUS provides substantial support for the enterprise-wide benefits offered by PROFINET because existing PROFIBUS networks can easily be integrated into PROFINET’s architectures, offering an easy migration path. For the same reason, says Bryant, PROFINET is driving continued support for PROFIBUS.

“PROFINET protects existing investments in PROFIBUS due to the high degree of technology cross-fertilization we have employed.” says Bryant. “Even the need for re-training is minimal.” He points out that other fieldbuses such as FOUNDATION Fieldbus, DeviceNet and HART networks can also be integrated easily, making PROFINET a powerful, all-encompassing, automation solution.

“PROFINET is modular, which means it offers users huge flexibility, and it covers 100% of automation needs so there are no limitations to its use in manufacturing plants and process plants. With PROFINET, end users don’t have to make difficult choices - they simply use the best fit for their particular application,” Bryant said, adding “PROFINET is now set to become as successful as PROFIBUS.”

DIAGNOSTICS WEBINAR ANNOUNCED: PTO will shortly host a webinar on Industrial Ethernet Diagnostics to show how to troubleshoot and diagnose Industrial Ethernet networks. There are lots of well-proven tools from the IT world that are useful for Industrial Ethernet. The webinar will show which ones to use in particular situations. Some examples include:

  • SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) and SNMP tools
  • Topology diagnostics
  • LLDP (Link Level Diagnostic Protocol)
  • Ethernet Sniffers
  • PROFINET diagnostics, including Ethernet switch as an IO device, browsing the network, alarms, etc.

The webinar will last one hour including time for questions. Date is Wednesday October 31st. Start time is 2:00pm EDT (1:00pm CDT, noon MDT, 11:00am PDT). Register here.

Revisit earlier webinars here.

There's also a new White Paper on Diagnostics just published here. Choose to read it via pdf download OR listen to it on MP3.

WORKSHOPS AND SEMINARS - UPDATE: Over 1000 people have been trained on PROFIBUS and PROFINET this year. Be one of this select group by attending a free class near you. Training opportunities here.

ALERT! PROFIBUS Classes are set for September 11 in Dallas and October 24 in Columbus, OH.

ALERT! PROFIBUS in Process Classes have been confirmed for London, ON on September 19 and Kansas City on October 11. Roanoke has been set for November 29.

ALERT: Detroit September 19 is almost full. We have to limit the numbers to 120 and we're currently at 107! At time of writing we still have room (BUT if the registration page is not accessible, we're full!)

CHANGED! The PROFINET Class in October is now on October 17 in Richmond.

NEW! A PROFINET Class has been added to the schedule, for Silicon Valley on Dec 6.

Special Note: attendees receive a certificate for 5.5 Professional Development Hours (PDH). And as a bonus, the PTO raffles a week-long Certified Network Engineer Class (a $2695 value) at each PROFIBUS and PROFINET event!


PROFINET DEVELOPER WORKSHOP: The PTO's 2007 series of free PROFINET Developer Workshops reaches it finale shortly with a visit to Boston on October 23rd. The goal of the workshops has been to provide PROFINET developers with a wide range of technical information, including PROFINET vendor presentations, to help them select the best tools to use. The workshops are aimed at device developers, development managers and product marketers.

“The objectives are to provide developers with technical information and enable them to meet and talk with a variety of PROFINET tool vendors,” said Carl Henning, Deputy Director of the PTO. “Industrial Ethernet is a continually growing force in factory automation and we want developers to be completely knowledgeable about the latest tools so that they can successfully integrate Ethernet into their products. All major suppliers of PROFINET development tools will be in one room so potential users can select the development tools that best fulfill their requirements.”

ARC Advisory Group will provide a market overview during each workshop, with industry expert Harry Forbes speaking about the explosive growth of Industrial Ethernet. The PTO will then present an overview of PROFINET, and the PROFI Interface Center will look at various applications and the types of tools available. Presentations will be given by development tool providers. Providers will also be on hand at exhibit tables for more detailed discussions. Exhibitors include: Hilscher North America, Inc., HMS Industrial Networks, Inc., IXXAT, Inc., Real Time Automation, Siemens Energy & Automation, Softing North America and Woodhead Industries.

The workshops are entirely free of cost or obligation. Coffee, a light breakfast, lunch and a hosted bar are provided and door prizes will be awarded. To register visit

GENERAL ASSEMBLY MEETING REPORT: The PTO General Assembly Meeting celebrated the shipment of 20,000,000 PROFIBUS nodes, with growth apparently continuing unstoppably (see also our top story!) Discussions about numbers and market shares pointed to the reality of fieldbus acceptance but it was no surprise to learn that a large percentage of orders are still for hard-wired (HART usually) products. What did surprise however, was the view that that while most new project orders begin with an inquiry about fieldbuses, only about 40% end up that way. Still, that's up from 25% a year or two ago!

The famous PROFINET White Knight made an appearance to promote the benefits of PROFINET. Later, PROFINET presentations centered on application stories and competitive analyses. The nice thing about the application stories was that some were for safety and drives, in addition to peer-to-peer and IO. Media types attending included Peter Welander, Editor of Control Engineering, and Automation World's Gary Mintchell who presented the keynote: “Marketing as a Conversation”, highlighting the significance of blogging and social networking technologies when applied to industrial automation. To prove his point he posted meeting photos on Flickr. You’ll find more GAM reports from Peter Welander and Gary Mintchell (here and here) in their blogs and magazines. PTO's Deputy Director Carl Henning also blogged from the GAM.

Two user applications were presented and there was an update on OPC UA, a market analysis from Harry Forbes of ARC, and lots of news and reports from PI and the technical working groups. Wireless was also covered by Harry Forbes of ARC and Hunter Harrington of the PROFI Interface Center.

Scary revelation! From a poll of members attending the GAM – NONE uses RSS, the 'news feed' technology that's free as part of browsers such as Internet Explorer 7 and Firefox. News feeds bring headlines to your desk without any work on your part. If the story interests you, simply click on the headline to read it. It saves you time because you don't have to continuously visit your favorite sites to find out what's going on. Most industrial blogs - such as the ones mentioned above, and many web sites too - now use RSS news feeds extensively. So why aren't more people in automation taking advantage? We'll try to answer this in an upcoming issue.

FULL PROFINET CERTIFICATION: Certification of PROFINET IO devices according to Conformance Class A is now available from three PI Test Labs, including one in North America! Certification for PROFINET devices is mandatory. The three locations are:

  • PROFI Interface Center (PIC), Johnson City/USA
  • ComDeC, Fürth
  • itm, Technische Universität München

For contact details and more about Test Labs / Certification, visit this address or go straight to the PIC here.

PIC CONNECTION: The PROFI INTERFACE CENTER in Johnson City has published a new issue of its newsletter 'Connection'. It's focused on network diagnostics and includes a special feature on PROFINET IO device diagnostics. Also included is an article on the PROFINET Commander, a diagnostics tool developed by the PIC itself, which provides simple to use support for all aspects of de-bugging PROFINET systems. PIC.





PROFINET IN PROCESS AUTOMATION: The 'DCS Requirements' Working Group of PI has defined the profile for using PROFINET in process automation. A list of about 100 requirements has been drawn up.

Close contact with NAMUR (the International User Association of Automation Technology in Process Industries) Working Group 2.6 'Fieldbus' ensured their requirements have been incorporated. Specification tasks have begun and should be completed by Spring 2008.

The Working Group includes representatives from ABB, Emerson, Endress+Hauser, Pepperl+Fuchs, Siemens, Softing, Stahl and Yokogawa. Central issues include device integration, maintenance and diagnosis, fieldbus integration, data flow, time stamping, time synchronization and redundancy.

Don't forget that a useful White Paper on PROFINET in the Process Industries was recently published by ARC Advisory. Read it here.




BRAZIL: 24 participants took part in training classes in July, including users PETROBRAS, Bayer, DaimlerChrysler, Embraco-Whirlpool and Plant Zilo Sugar. UK: The PROFIBUS International Conference and Exhibition in June was an excellent reflection of the mood of the industry. A major discussion topic was the growing capability to monitor and diagnose plant problems and automatically raise maintenance / repair orders within a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS). The value of this can be judged from statements such as : 'Plant maintenance can be equivalent to 67% of net profit', according to DuPont, or: 'Just the unnecessary work carried out on plant can be the same as the net profit', according to Dow Chemical. Plans are in hand for another event next year. SOUTHERN AFRICA: Chairman of PI Edgar Küster was among more than 100 guests in Johannesburg and 80 guests in Durban who attended PROFIBUS 'breakfasts' recently. Michael Bean from the PROFIBUS Competence Center showed some of the pitfalls of installing fieldbus systems wrongly; guests were amused to see photographs of incorrectly installed devices and the simple but costly solutions involved if applied later. POLAND: The first PROFIBUS Product Developer Training took place in Gliwice, Poland in June, organized by the Polish PICC, INTEX, and run by Peter Fredehorst (Application Engineer) and Lothar Schroettel (Sales Manager) from Profichip, Germany. KOREA: Also in June, the first PROFIBUS Product Developer Training took place in Seoul, organized by the Korean PROFIBUS Association and again supported by Profichip of Germany.



FPGA SUPPORT FOR PROFINET: Altera Corporation has announced FPGA-based support for PROFINET. Intellectual property (IP) cores for PROFINET can now be implemented on Altera’s low-cost Cyclone series FPGAs, enabling OEM designers to deploy single board solutions. “The FPGA’s design flexibility allows developers to support multiple protocols within a single product. Altera is the only company bringing low-cost FPGA solutions to the industrial market", said Michael Samuelian, director of Altera’s industrial business unit. To support Cyclone-based designs, IXXAT, one of Altera’s IP partners, is offering an industrial Ethernet development kit consisting of a reference design and evaluation board, schematics and executables, a protocol stack, MAC, TCP/IP stack, interface application and a host application program interface (API) in source code. Altera Corporation.


PROFINET STACK FOR FPGA: Softing has announced the availability of an optimized version of its PROFINET IO stack for Altera Cyclone series FPGAs. The stack supports the eCOS RTOS for Altera's Nios® II embedded processor, the world’s most versatile soft-core processor. Softing's “Access Kit”, a unified RT Ethernet API (available as source code), is an extremely efficient protocol abstraction layer that offers a single application interface for all protocols which helps to significantly speed-up the device integration. In addition, Softing's RT Ethernet stacks offer support for the integrated switch-core of the FPGAs, enabling devices to operate in a daisy-chain topology, helping to significantly lower installation costs by reducing the number of infrastructure devices like switches and hubs. If required, Softing can provide engineering services for the entire product development cycle too. Softing.


PROFINET IO CONTROLLER DEVELOPMENT KIT: Woodhead Industries has launched the BradCommunications PROFINET IO Development Kit, which allows manufacturers to develop PROFINET IO controller products such as PLCs, couplers, PC-based interface cards, panel PC and robot controllers etc) more quickly. The Development Kit supports any hardware platform (Intel, ARM, PowerPC) and is compatible with operating systems including Windows®, VxWorks, or LinuxRT. The kit package includes: library files, electronic documentation, samples of implementation in various OS. Woodhead Industries also provides a Windows-based PROFINET software Console to generate configuration files in order to initialize the IO-controller Stack. The Console can be customized for OEM requirements and includes features to quickly setup and define IO devices. A network detection mechanism builds a network topology based on the integrated GSD device library. Acting as an IO-Supervisor, the Console allows each device to set the name and IP address. Woodhead Industries or


DP IO STATIONS: TURCK Inc has added FDP20 I/O stations to its line of PROFIBUS-DP I/O stations. This is 'superb' says Truck for automotive, pharmaceutical, chemical and material handling industries where I/O needs to be integrated onto PROFIBUS-DP networks. FDP20 stations are available in three versions: 16 inputs, 16 input/outputs, and 8 input and 8 input/outputs. In addition to providing IP 20 protection, FDP20 stations are ideal for integrating I/O in existing panels onto PROFIBUS. A 9-pin female D-connector provides connection to PROFIBUS-DP, and all power is derived from a separate power source. Turck USA: 1-800-544-7769 or



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