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Largest ever PI meeting discusses strategy, PROFINET and PROFIenergy
Members are invited to Arizona in October
'It was Standing Room only', webinar news and class listings
Enhance your professional status and join our official lists
All Things PROFINET, Product Guide now has 500 PROFINET products
GE schedules 60 Workshops featuring PROFINET
Automation Training now offers PLC courses

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Welding Machines, Brewing
Spain, Middle East, Japan, Czech Republic, India, South East Asia
Prosoft Technology
HMS Industrial Networks
Emerson Process Management

BRYANT AT THE PI MEETING IN LUCERNELUCERNE PI MEETING ATTRACTS 115: PI North America Executive Director Michael Bryant, Deputy Director Carl Henning and Director of Technical Marketing Michael Bowne were among the 115 delegates who attended the recent PI meeting in Lucerne Switzerland. This was the 23rd PI meeting and the largest ever, with Training Center, Competence Center and Test Lab. personnel attending. During the meeting Jörg Freitag was re-elected PI Chairman; Michael Bryant continues as Deputy Chairman. Bryant (right) commented in his opening address that, technology aside, it's the strength of this global PI community that is the principle driver of PI's success. "I happen to believe that, having passed the 3,000,000 node mark, PROFINET has reached critical mass and is 'breaking through' right at this moment, " he said. "I am convinced we are now well on our way to achieving the same status for PROFINET that we did with PROFIBUS." The official group photo (below) was taken on the shores of Lake Lucerne. Those who haven't been following Carl's PROFIblog might like to know 'who's who' by checking this link. (Ornithologists particularly welcome!)


Headline topics included:

  • PROFINET: Xaver Schmidt (right) head of the PROFINET Marketing Working Group, covered the status of the PROFINET specification (with V2.3 released it's now completed) and the latest security definitions. He also summarized the results of a recent PROFINET market survey, based on 595 responses. The survey showed that 'speed' and 'innovation' are the attributes most associated with PROFINET, while diagnostics, safety, IT integration and security are seen as the most important functions. PROFINET and PROFIBUS were identified as the most efficient among the protocols available and many users consider PROFINET to be a supplement to PROFIBUS, not a replacement. Asked why they use PROFINET, most users said that it offers innovative functions, it meets future requirements, and it's fast!
  • PROFIenergy: Prof. Frithjof Klasen, from the Institute for Automation & Industrial IT (AIT), Cologne University of Applied Science, presented the results of a power load analysis performed on sections of two working automotive plants. The project measured fifteen energy parameters over a seven day period, on energy consumers ranging from robotic systems down to field devices. Special focus was given to the frequency and duration of pauses and downtimes. Klasen said his results indicate that savings of 33% in power and carbon dioxide are possible. However, what he called 'adequate plant concepts' are required: "Plant operators must clearly define their requirements for equipment and component manufacturers, as the standby mode is only useful if trouble-free startup can be ensured," he said. A White Paper on Prof. Klasen's results will be published shortly.

GAM INVITATION17th GENERAL ASSEMBLY MEETING: Members of PI North America are invited to Scottsdale October 4-6 for two days of presentations, strategy sessions and Southwestern hospitality ... all designed to enhance PROFIBUS and PROFINET activities in North America! This annual event brings together vendors and users to provide a fuller appreciation of the PROFIBUS and PROFINET marketplaces and is also an opportunity for members to shape the PI North America marketing focus.  The cost for attendance is $995, which includes:

  • Luxurious suite at the Scottsdale Marriott at McDowell Mountains
  • Welcome Reception and Product Fair.
  • Two days of technical presentations and materials.
  • Continental breakfasts, and lunches.
  • Networking and entertainment events including Thursday evening pool party.

An online Registration Form is here. What did past GAM attendees think? Last year's attendees can be seen meeting and 'networking' here. Not yet a member? Join here!

PS: if you're a North American user of PROFINET and/or PROFIBUS and are willing to present your experiences of these technologies to the GAM, we'd like to hear from you. Please email

HARTING AND GE DEBUT AT CINCINNATI TRAINING CLASS: The popularity of PI North America's training classes continues to grow. "It was standing room only in Cincinnati for our recent PROFINET class there," reports Carl Henning. "Harting and GE exhibited with for the first time, adding to the crowded meeting room."  As if to emphasize the point, the fire alarm sounded (falsely) just before the meeting began and everyone had to go stand outside (lower picture). Said Carl: "I advised students that the fire alarm was not controlled by PROFINET!" You can stay abreast of PI North America's free training classes by monitoring this page or by checking the links below. (Remember, early booking is advisable.)

August Denver Aug 11 Boston Aug 23
September Minneapolis  Sep 29 Rochester  Sep 14
October Raleigh Milwaukee Oct 13
November Houston Chicago Nov 29
December San Diego

This year, PROFINET in Process Automation has been added to the PROFINET classes to show how PROFINET can automate projects incorporating PROFIBUS, Foundation Fieldbus, DeviceNet and others. Attendees each receive a certificate for 5.5 Professional Development Hours (PDH).

Certified Network Engineer classes also continue to fill quickly, with some significant onsite installers classes now also underway. Companies desiring onsite classes are invited to contact the PI North America office by phone, or email

Finally, if you can't get to one of our training venues, there are various online ways to learn about PROFIBUS and PROFINET. Webinars are one of the most popular. They now include one about PROFIenergy, the profile which provides a unique and effective way of reducing energy consumption during production pauses, and one about PROFINET in Process Automation. Both are archived here along with a bunch of others that could be just as relevant to your needs.

CERTIFIED NETWORK TRAINING CLASSES: Certification Classes in 2011 are available September through December as per the table below. (Monitor this page for last minute changes and additions to the schedule). Class size is limited by available work stations and as these have been filling up fast in recent months, please register early. Classes begin on the following Mondays:

September 12 September 19 September 19
November 7   December 5

WEB NEWS: All Things PROFINET, the dedicated PROFINET web site, now has lots more Device Developer material, including a table showing which company can best help with your kind of PROFINET implementation and lists of North American device suppliers. The main PI web site at has a completely revised technology section and there are more than 500 PROFINET products now showing in the updated Product Guide. Overall, the Product Guide contains more than 2,600 devices for PROFIBUS and PROFINET, accessible via a fast search function.

GE SCHEDULES 60 WORKSHOPS FEATURING PROFINET: 'Simplifying Distributed I/O & Installed Base Modernization' is the title of a new workshop just announced by GE Intelligent Platforms. It's scheduled for 60 venues around North America and will demonstrate how to save time, reduce hardware cost and improve system performance using the integrated PROFINET network on the PACSystems RX3i controller, VersaMax distributed I/O, and a wide range of third-party devices. More workshops will be held around the world.

LIVE e-LEARNING FOR PROFIBUS: Automation Training, a group of experienced Instructors that have been working in the factory automation business for over 20 years, now offers hands-on PLC training using WebEx. Their software and equipment lets you interact remotely with Siemens S7:300/400 or Allen-Bradley ControlLogix/SST equipment while getting personal training from an instructor. AUTOMATION TRAINING.

ARE YOU LINKED IN TO PROFINET YET? Looking for ways to integrate PROFINET in your devices? An invitation to visit the new web page of ComDec for answers is one of the latest postings to the dedicated PROFINET page on LinkedIn. Some posters are looking for advice, many are just watching the action. Are you LinkedIn yet? The Group  has 249 members and anyone can contribute to and read what's being written. Meanwhile, PROFIblog continues to make waves as Carl Henning provides commentary on what matters in automation. Carl Tweets too; follow him @CHenning. PI has expanded into TV production and is now publishing short films on YouTube where there are already two PI channels - profitelevision and profiblogger. Check this film about PROFIenergy, PI's radical new energy saving profile. The videos can also be viewed on the PI web site. And, while we are talking movies, don't forget this one on the key functions of PROFINET. High Noon for competitors maybe?

WELDING MACHINES and BREWING: Two case studies featuring PROFINET and PROFIBUS are now online. There's a welding application from a major OEM serving the automotive industry and a PROFIBUS application covering a large brewing plant in Australia.

SPAIN: The Regional PI Association in Spain held its foundation meeting in June 2011. The RPA has seven Board members (ABB; Endress+Hauser, Harting, Logitek, Pepperl+Fuchs, Phoenix Contact, Siemens, SMC), and its headquarters are at the university in Barcelona. MIDDLE EAST: PI Middle East was officially launched on June 29th 2011, sponsored by ABB, E+H, Phoenix Contact, Pepperl & Fuchs, ProSoft, Siemens, Stahl, Turck and Yokogawa. Jörg Freitag, Chairman of PI, gave a presentation, together with Wyn Owen from United Sugar Company who explained the 'Benefits of using PROFIBUS and PROFINET'. United Sugar Company is a Saudi Arabia-based company which has been using PROFIBUS and PROFINET for many years. A Water & Wastewater event is planned for in October and a Metals event for November. Three PI Competence Centers recently became certified in the region - UAE, Lebanon and KSA. JAPAN: Japanese PROFIBUS Organization (JPO) held events named 'PROFIBUS & PROFINET Day 2011' in Osaka and Tokyo during July. This is the sixth year for the event and the largest so far, with 30 companies and two associations participating. The PROFINET System Description has been translated into Japanese (see right). CZECH REPUBLIC: The PROFIBUS Organization Czech Republic, together with Deutschmann Automation, profichip and Foxon, held its first PROFIBUS Developer Workshop in May. Participants received from profichip a free DP-V0 protocol software stack and from Deutschmann Automation a UNIGATE starter-kit. INDIA: An agreement has been finalized for conducting PROFIBUS Maintenance and Troubleshooting Training Workshops of 2 days duration for Siemens' engineers every month, conducted by the PROFIBUS Center at UL Group with the PI Competence Center. A technology discussion forum called ‘Technology Talk' has been started in the magazine 'A&D' to answer technical queries from PROFIBUS users. SOUTH EAST ASIA: The PROFIBUS/PROFINET Association South East Asia conducted a major seminar (see right) at the Petrofac Training Center on Jurong Island in Singapore, featuring both PROFIBUS and PROFINET. A total of 60 people attended. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia and Thailand will follow.

AUTOSCAN ADDED TO PROFIBUS MODULES AND GATEWAYS: ProSoft Technology's PROFIBUS DP-V1 Master module for Schneider Electric Quantum PLCs and all PROFIBUS DP-V1 Master gateways now supports the Autoscan feature. Autoscan reduces start up times and simplifies troubleshooting by scanning the PROFIBUS network and uploading slave device addresses and configuration information. For users migrating from the recently obsolete Schneider Electric PROFIBUS Scanner to ProSoft Technology modules, the Autoscan feature can help reduce engineering and implementation costs. For critical applications, the in-chassis PROFIBUS DP-V1 Master module also offers Hot Standby, a feature enabling the PROFIBUS network to be controlled by redundant modules, with switchover times under 300 milliseconds in order to minimize downtime. PROSOFT TECHNOLOGY.

PROFIsafe WITH iPar SERVER: Wago has a new 4-channel digital input and 1-channel digital output terminal supporting PROFIsafe for PROFIBUS and PROFINET. It features a configurable safe output of two semiconductor switches (24 V/10 A) and four stroke-sensitive inputs. Outputs are capable of switching inductive loads up to 2 A without additional external circuitry. Operating modes, the shutdown of the test pulses, discrepancy and filter times are parameterized using WAGO I/O-CHECK, which can be integrated into engineering systems via TCI (Tool Calling Interface). Parameters can also be automatically downloaded from an iPar server.  WAGO.

CONNECTING Modbus TCP TO PROFIBUS: Modbus TCP-enabled devices can now be easily connected to PROFIBUS using the latest Anybus X-gateway. The X-gateway works as a translator between the two protocols and is configured through a web interface with no need for programming. Acting as a client (master) on the Modbus TCP network and a slave/adapter on the PROFIBUS network, it provides fast transfer of data, typically with a delay of less than 5ms. X-gateways have been re-designed (see photo) to enable easier cable connection, backplane stacking possibilities and wall-mount options for harsh industrial environments. HMS.

PROFIBUS NON-INTERFERING DIAGNOSTICS: Imagine being called to diagnose a critical PROFIBUS network and, just when you connect your diagnostic tool, the communication breaks down! PROFIBUS Tester 4 is specifically designed to avoid such unintended interferences during online monitoring. It is fully galvanically isolated and includes an advanced connector that minimizes any impact on the network. It acts in a passive node that is not detectable on the network. There's no need to bring a notebook to the shop-floor as PROFIBUS Tester 4 can be used in hand-held mode to verify operation at both ends of a PROFIBUS network. If the electrical signal quality at either end is bad then connect a notebook and use PROFIBUS Diagnostic Software to pin-point the problem. SOFTING.

EMERSON ADDS PROFIBUS 3.02 TO 2051: PROFIBUS PA is the latest network choice for the Rosemount 2051 pressure transmitter range, which now also includes a Local Operator Interface option (LOI) that offers simple addressing and configuration at the transmitter itself. PROFIBUS PA with LOI is available on the complete Rosemount 2051 line, including 2051CF flowmeters and 2051L level transmitters. Emerson's certified PROFIBUS specialists are trained to provide global support on any Emerson PROFIBUS devices. EMERSON PROCESS MANAGEMENT.

INDUSTRIAL ETHERNET SWITCHES: B series Brad Direct-Link Ethernet switches bow feature new enclosure designs, a broader operating temperature range and more compact 16- and 18-port designs. Unmanaged, standard duty (SD) switches in tough Lexan polycarbonate provide a cost-effective solution for low-end DIN rail applications. For tougher, heavy-duty (HD) industrial DIN rail or panel mounting applications, an aluminum enclosure provides IP40 performance. MOLEX.

INDUSTRIAL RFID WITH PROFIBUS DP: The BIS series of cost-effective RFID data carriers and processors with integrated PROFIBUS DP offer maximum application flexibility using a variety of components. From small serial numbers up to 8000+ bytes of data can be stored and the fast read / write process guarantees 100% data reliability. The rugged read/write heads and data carriers hold up to abusive industrial environments and the product family is designed to support multiple industries across a wide range of applications, with low frequency and high frequency versions available. BALLUFF.

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©2011 PI North America


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