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GE's growing role in the global acceptance of PROFINET
Members are invited to Arizona in balmy October
How a market study expects PROFINET to develop in the next three years
Two new publications provide easy access to key PI technologies
Check out our animated locator that shows how many venues we've visited
Enhance your professional status and join official lists
Three fieldbus organizations accept a common gateway for wireless
IO-Link helps cable up a metal forming and stamping machine
Middle East, Japan, Brazil, South Africa
PIC offers help; GE goes global with PROFINET; Softing appoints Wisconsin distributor
Who's who in the world of PI?
All the best in social networking with PROFINET and PROFIBUS
Seven new products, ranging from hot standby masters to bricks!

AN UNFOLDING TALE: Michael Bryant, Executive Director of PI North America has welcomed the efforts now being made by GE Intelligent Platforms to raise the profile of their PROFINET-based systems. He said: "In recent years it has been a pleasure to watch GE Intelligent Platforms join PI North America and participate in PI Working Groups at an international level helping develop the PROFINET specifications. Recently we welcomed Bernie Anger of GE Control and Communication Systems to our Board of Directors. Now, a further chapter in this exciting story is unfolding as GE Intelligent Platforms rolls out a series of technology seminars based on their PROFINET applications. These plans are truly global; already 60 North American venues have been decided, China dates are being added now and European and Australian events are to be announced shortly. I am truly delighted that GE Intelligent Platforms is demonstrating its commitment to PROFINET like this. It's further proof that PROFINET is on the way to achieving the same status in automation as PROFIBUS did before it."

OF CARS ... AND PROFINET AND PROFIBUS SUCCESS!: Members of PI North America are invited to the next General Assembly Meeting (GAM) on October 4-6, 2011 in Scottsdale, AZ. Yes, we've moved the annual member meeting to October to escape the famous Arizona summer heat!  The agenda will include:

  • Reports
  • News
  • User applications
  • Technical updates
  • PROFIenergy study results
  • Strategies for the future
  • Latest development tools

There's a 'welcome' reception on Tuesday evening followed by two jam-packed days of information opinions and discussion.  Speakers from GE Intelligent Platforms and Phoenix Contact will talk about their use of PROFINET but 'automotive' will be the main theme. The keynote will be “PROFINET in Automotive” by Aldo Marcuzzi of Siemens and Chrysler and VW will talk about their choice of PROFINET for new plants.  And we'll go outside for the Wednesday night networking event! The GAM will wind down Thursday with the traditional evening pool party. You can find additional information on our General Assembly Meeting event page and a link to registration. 

PROFINET USE COULD DOUBLE: North American users say they expect to double their use of PROFINET within three years according to a recent IMS Research study. Extracts from the study provided to PI by the publishers show that European use of PROFINET is anticipated to grow from 16% to 20% while North American users who responded said that they expected to increase their usage from 9% to 17%. A 'significant' bump in PI North America membership confirms the growth in interest here in North America. The study is called 'Industrial Fieldbus and Ethernet – a factory floor perspective - EMEA and Americas, 2011 edition (Issue 2)' and it can be found at

PROFINET AND PROFIdrive SYSTEM DESCRIPTIONS: A brand new PROFINET System Description has been published. The 28 page document covers all functional aspects of PROFINET in an easy-to-understand format and is an ideal way to understand what PROFINET can do for modern plant automation.  The second publication - a PROFIdrive System Description - explains the choices available with this powerful profile for motion control. Find the PROFINET System Description here.  Find the PROFIdrive System Description here.

CLICK TO FIND OUT WHERE WE'VE BEENFREE TRAINING CLASSES: PI North America training classes remain one a popular educational path for users. 2011 classes continue to be particularly successful, further confirmation perhaps that PROFINET and PROFIBUS are gaining rapidly in popularity. Over the years, PI North America staff have traveled widely delivering classes across North American and some of the Caribbean too. In a recent PROFIblog, Carl Henning came up with the image shown right, which pinpoints the locations visited since 2006. Click the graphic to see the animated version which lets you find out more about the venues and the numbers attending. You can stay up to date with the free training class program by monitoring this page or by checking the links below. Recent events have been over-subscribed so early booking is advisable.

September Minneapolis  Sep 29  
October Houston Milwaukee Oct 13
November Raleigh Chicago Nov 29
December San Diego

This year, PROFINET in Process Automation has been added to the PROFINET classes to show how users can easily migrate automation projects incorporating fieldbuses like PROFIBUS, Foundation Fieldbus, DeviceNet and other technologies. Attendees each receive a certificate for 5.5 Professional Development Hours (PDH).

CERTIFIED NETWORK TRAINING CLASSES: There are still some opportunities to attend Certification Classes in 2011 - see the table below. (Please monitor this page for any last minute changes and additions). 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:

November 7   December 5

Onsite classes are becoming increasingly popular. Companies desiring a more 'personal service' are invited to contact the PI North America office by phone, or email:

WEB NEWS: All Things PROFINET, the dedicated PROFINET web site, has lots of 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. We're adding all the time and the next module will be on migrating from PROFIBUS to PROFINET.

WirelessHART CONNECTIVITY ARCHITECTURE AGREED: Fieldbus Foundation, the HART Communication Foundation (HCF) and PI have joined forces to create a common architecture for a WirelessHART gateway device. Cooperation on this architecture is an extension of the three organizations' successful collaboration on Electronic Device Description Language (EDDL) and is another step towards delivering open systems to process industry end users.  The specification enables anyone to design and build gateway products. The gateway allows a WirelessHART mesh network to communicate with a host via the Fieldbus Foundation's HSE protocol, PROFIBUS and PROFINET. I/O mapping and the use of DD files are consistent among these protocols. The diagram shows how data from a wireless mesh sensor network could be integrated into a host automation system. The collection of sensors is configured as a mesh, so devices can communicate directly, or route messages through another sensor if the primary path becomes blocked.

METAL FORMING AND STAMPING: In a metal forming and stamping facility, there is usually the need to change out press dies and tooling on a regular basis. Tracking the die ID is becoming an important function in every press shop. IO-Link is perfectly suited to this function. More here.

MIDDLE EAST: In June 2011, PI Middle East welcomed Dr. Hassan Kaghazchi, Chairman of PI Ireland, who certified three new Competence Centers in UAE, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia. JAPAN: With the cooperation of 30 vendors and 2 Associations, Japanese PROFIBUS Organization (JPO) held two 'PROFIBUS and PROFINET Day 2011' in Osaka and Tokyo in July. About 300 participants listened to ten seminar sessions covering the latest news about PROFIBUS and PROFINET, with emphasis on how to develop devices easily. BRAZIL: In June, the (PITC) PI Training Center Brazil organized the third of its 2011 training classes (right), entitled 'Introduction to Configuration and Installation of PROFIBUS Networks.' SOUTH AFRICA: It's been a busy few months for the South African Regional PROFIBUS Association (SARPA) chaired by Rob Mackenzie from Endress+Hauser. It hosted a booth at the biennial Process Expo in May - an opportunity for both seasoned and unseasoned users to join the PROFI User Forum ( ) and learn how to troubleshoot PROFIBUS Networks. Elsewhere, certified PROFIBUS training courses are being filled to capacity.

Hunter Harrington of the PROFI Interface Center in Johnson City writes: "Are you PROFINET enabled? Now is the time to stay ahead of the technology curve and get PROFINET! The PROFI Interface Center (PIC) has a new PROFINET technology selection guide . This gives an overview of the latest PROFINET offerings. From Siemens' development kits to test tools and product certification, we can help. Software, hardware, and PC-based development solutions are available which can support PROFINET IO Device and/or IO Controller functionality. Come to see the benefits and get the right advice - right from the start - from the experts! Thinking about your solution? Contact us today for your free consultation".

New Board Member in PI North America, GE Intelligent Platforms, has announced a global series of seminars supporting the use of PROFINET in its automation systems. Entitled 'Simplifying Distributed I/O and Installed Base Modernization' the seminars aim to show how users can save time, reduce hardware cost and improve automation system performance through the use of the integrated PROFINET network on the PACSystems RX3i controller, VersaMax distributed I/O, and a wide range of third-party devices. USA venues are here. Recently announced Chinese venues are here. Australian and European venues will be published shortly.

Softing North America is pleased to announce PCC as a new Authorized Distributor for its premium line of diagnostic and troubleshooting tools for PROFIBUS networks. PCC is a leading industrial automation and control distributor serving Wisconsin's manufacturing industry. For more information, visit .

PAULA DOYLE, PI MIDDLE EAST: PI Middle East was officially launched on June 29th 2011. Chairman Paula Doyle says she is pleased to be bringing the PI vision of automation to the region and is already planning Water and Wastewater and Metals events for 2011. An even more adventurous program is in the pipeline for 2012. Paula gained a B.Eng Computer Engineering and PhD in real-time networks from the University of Limerick in Ireland. She later worked with ABB Global R&D for Oil and Gas in Norway on wireless applications and has contributed to the WirelessHART standard. Paula started with Siemens Industry in April 2010 working in their Automation Systems department as PROFIBUS Promoter. Her hobbies are yoga, snorkeling and traveling. PI MIDDLE EAST.

ARE YOU LINKED IN TO PROFINET YET? The LinkedIn PROFINET Group  has passed the 300 members mark and is becoming a fruitful source of learning and information exchange. Recent discussions covered topics such as: How do you calculate the maximum number of hops through switches when considering jitter? and: What is a proxy? Don't forget PROFIblog is another useful source of what's happening in automation. Carl Henning, Deputy Director of PI North America, also tweets: follow him @CHenning. PROFITV can be found here.

PROFIBUS DP-V1 MASTER WITH HOT STANDBY: The PROFIBUS DP-V1 Master Communication Module   (PTQ-PDPMV1) enables Schneider Electric Quantum processors to access field data from up to 125 PROFIBUS DP slaves. For critical applications where downtime is not an option, the module supports hot standby processors for non-disruptive failover and reliability. The module also supports a new Autoscan feature, which 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 Schneider Electric PROFIBUS Scanner this feature can help reduce engineering and implementation costs. PROSOFT TECHNOLOGY.

PACSystems HAS PROFINET: GE Intelligent Platforms has launched PACSystems with integrated real-time PROFINET. A high speed network with the ability to drop large amounts of I/O without compromising performance, PACSystems with PROFINET can operate in high-noise areas and cover large distances in real time with an elegant redundancy capability to maximize uptime. "The new PACSystems with PROFINET helps our customers increase production uptime, increase asset performance and improve their reliability,” says the company. GE INTELLIGENT PLATFORMS.

IO-Link Tester: The new IO-Link test specification (Revision 1.1) is now available from MESCO Systems in its IO-Link Master Tester, which may be customized for use with different fieldbus interfaces. PROFIBUS DP is the first supported fieldbus version.  The device simulates the IO-Link end device and allows the master to be analyzed. A monitoring function for trouble-shooting is incorporated.  MESCO is an approved IO-Link Competence Center and also offers fully-tested IO-Link Stacks. MESCO SYSTEMS.

PC CONTROLLER FOR PROFINET: Thanks to new PC Worx RT Basic, this industrial PC is now a fully-fledged control unit. When used separately, the processor kernels for control and the Windows environment enable real-time implementation of control tasks. The device supports PROFINET I/O controller and PROFINET I/O device functions. A further board supports Interbus. HTTP, SNTP, SNMP, SMTP, SQL, and MySQL services are built-in. PC Worx RT Basic is characterized by a significantly lower wiring requirement and a smaller control cabinet volume. PHOENIX CONTACT.

PUSH/PULL CONNECTOR FOR PROFINET: A new version of the Han PushPull PROFINET connector is available, with an angled outgoing cable which makes it suitable for use in situations where space is limited. The Han PushPull connector (variant 14 according to IEC 61076-3-117) is the standard connector for industrial PROFINET cabling applications where IP65/67 protection is required, and the new version ensures compliance with the required bending radii for data lines. Field-installable 4- and 8-pin RJ45 data inserts are also available. Han PushPull RJ45 connectors are suitable for transmitting 10/100Mbit/s Ethernet, Category 5 (4-pin) or for transmitting 1/10Gbit/s Ethernet, Category 6, Class EA (8-pin), says the company. HARTING

COMBRICKS: Grid Connect is pleased to announce the arrival of the new ProfiTrace software for the COMbricks product line from PROCENTEC. COMbricks serves as both a repeater backbone and a permanently installed diagnostic tool. A COMbricks repeater can be shared amongst four PROFIBUS Networks, to monitor them through a single Ethernet connection. COMbricks has an integrated web server with a ProfiTrace OE shell that allows the user to visualize using just a Web Browser. A free version of ProfiTrace software is now available for making a remote connection to COMbricks without using a web-browser. It has the same look and feel. The Head Station controller module provides communications via the Ethernet. Up to 10 2-channel repeater modules may be added to give a total of 20 network segments that can be assigned to any of 4 networks. GRID CONNECT.

FREE OF CHARGE COMMDTM: Softing has announced a new version of its PROFIBUS Communication Device Type Manager (PROFIdtm). The version 2.11 is free-of-charge and is available for download from Softing's web site. The PROFIdtm enables applications that adhere to the FDT standard to easily access field devices on a PROFIBUS network. The new version is released for Windows 7, Vista, XP and Server 2008. It supports the 64-bit versions of the latest operating systems. The PROFIdtm does not require any software licensing and this latest version has been tested with leading FDT frame applications. It is compatible with all PROFIBUS master PC interface boards from Softing and with the Ethernet remote interfaces of the FG PROFIBUS series. SOFTING.

PROFIBUS TESTER: Softing's unique PROFIBUS Tester 4 is the first all-in-one diagnostic tool that takes an integrated view of both electrical signal characteristics and network communications. A single mouse click initiates the full analysis of a PROFIBUS network including electrical signal and protocol analysis. The test results are displayed in the Overview Window of the PROFIBUS Diagnostic Suite software.
Within seconds even a layman can clearly identify whether the PROFIBUS network is in good health or not has data communication or electrical signal issues. SOFTING.

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