Download the PDF ; The PROFIblog ; Full version
A unique event in Florida brings big users and vendors together
Book early to avoid disappointment
More options, more venues
Expertise is mandatory if you're planning to use PROFIsafe
A distributed IO solution for sensors; adding PROFINET to devices
PROFINET education in minutes, plus a blog's look at automation
South Korea standardizes PROFINET and PROFIBUS; China, PROFIBUS PA
A chance to contribute to the best fieldbus community, and be paid for it!
Five continents' worth of news in brief
Calibrators, Relays, Extenders, Analyzers, Repeaters and Connectors

PROFINET EXECUTIVE LEADERSHIP FORUM: A uniquely North American event took place in February bringing major automation industry users and vendors together to discuss PROFINET and innovation. The PROFINET Executive Leadership Forum was held in Miami, FL, across two days, co-sponsored by PI North America and vendor members GE Intelligent Platforms and Siemens.  PI North America Executive Director Michael J Bryant (above) opened the Forum, saying that Siemens and GE compete in major verticals but that both had decided to use PROFINET. "The situation resembles Ethernet in the 80s, when Xerox, Digital Equipment, and Intel worked together and made it dominant in the office," he said. "Siemens and GE are applying the same cooperative approach to the industrial sector with PROFINET." PI Chairman Joerg Freitag was among the speakers. Bernie Anger, of GE Intelligent Platforms, spoke of the importance of innovation in modern control. His company did an exhaustive analysis of available Industrial Ethernets and decided for PROFINET on technical merit. Siemens' Raj Batra said PROFINET will be important for saving energy too and exampled a Mercedes Benz pilot where energy costs during non-productive periods were reduced by 75% using PROFIenergy. He added that PROFINET has been selected by some of the biggest names "because of its technical superiority." PROFIblog has detailed reports of both days. Extensive press coverage included an unprecedented article in the influential Industry Week magazine.  Other stories appeared in Automation.comAutomation World, Control Engineering and  Control Design.

TRAINING CLASS SCHEDULE FILLS: Our 2012 program of FREE One Day Training Classes is proving more popular than ever and it's not uncommon now for dates to be closed a week or two in advance. So the message is - book early to avoid disappointment. Some dates are still 'tba': watch THIS PAGE for updates. The PROFINET content for 2012 has been expanded to include new PROFINET features, new demos, new products, and new application stories. A special section on transitioning from PROFIBUS to PROFINET is included too, as more and more engineers seek to upgrade to an Ethernet solution but ask: "what happens to my existing equipment?" With PROFINET the answer is easy: keep it running as normal and simply integrate it! Learning about PROFINET is easy too if you already know PROFIBUS. Now, check out these class venues:

Mar Greenville, SC Mar 29
(class full, closed)
April   St Louis, MO Apr 12
May Milwaukee, WI Apr 24 El Paso, TX May 2
Detroit, MI May 16
June Boston, MA Jun 5 Montreal June 5
July Kansas City, MO Jul 24 Indianapolis, IN Jul 12
Aug Dayton, OH Aug 28 Portland, OR Aug 7
Sept Seattle, WA tba Chattanooga, TN tba
Oct Memphis, TN Oct 9

New York, NY tba
Minneapolis, MN Oct 25

Nov   Baltimore, MD tba
Dec   Los Angeles, CA tba

The advice is: book early!

CERTIFIED NETWORK TRAINING PROGRAMS EXTEND CHOICE: Beginning in 2012, certified PROFIBUS PA classes will be held in Peterborough, Ontario, at the new Siemens PI Training Center, as well as at the PIC in Johnson City, Tennessee. These fee-based classes provide a detailed grounding in PROFIBUS and PROFINET. Students who pass the theoretical and practical exams are granted Certified Engineer Status and their names are listed on the PI North America web site. The confirmed class list for 2012 is:

Mar     Johnson City, TN
Mar 26-30
May Johnson City, TN
May 14-18
Peterborough, ON
May 15-18
Johnson City, TN
May 21-23
June     Johnson City, TN
June 11-15
Aug Johnson City, TN
August 13-17
Johnson City,TN
August 20-22
Sept     Johnson City, TN
September 17-21
Nov Johnson, City, TN
November 5-9
Dec     Johnson City, TN
December 3-7

On-site classes can be arranged. Companies desiring this more 'personal service' should contact the PI North America office, or email:

PROFIsafe CERTIFIED DESIGNER COURSE: Systematic training and education is mandatory for everyone involved in designing and using PI's safety profile PROFIsafe. To help meet this requirement, PI in cooperation with TÜV in Germany has developed a three-day training course, available to all PI members. The next PROFIsafe Certified Designer Courses will be held on April 17-19 in Karlsruhe, Germany - in English. Participants take a written test at the end of each day and experts passing all tests receive a "Certified PROFIsafe Designer" certificate from TÜV, valid for three years. REGISTER FOR APRIL TRAINING COURSE. There's a further course in October and Refresher Courses enabling engineers to keep their certification up to date are held periodically, also in English.

1. SIMPLIFYING INTEGRATION WITH DISTRIBUTED IO: Traditionally, conveyor wiring is run through conduit back to a central location, creating long cable runs and large cable bundles, increasing the cost of a system. Controls engineers increasingly want to reduce this complexity and integrate systems into networks such as PROFIBUS or PROFINET. Balluff's distributed modular I/O solution based on IO-Link not only greatly reduces cable runs but also distributes the I/O collection points along the conveyor. In addition, it simplifies the integration into a bus network. IO-Link (, slave devices communicate point-to-point over a standard 4-conductor sensor cable to a master on the chosen fieldbus.  The use of standard sensor cordsets also reduces total costs.  In the "Before" picture (top image), device cables are being run separately in the conduit.  In the "After" picture (bottom image), the long cable runs have been replaced by Balluff's distributed I/O hubs placed along the conveyor and networked by PROFINET.  The master collects digital data from each slave and transmits it via PROFINET back to the PLC. In this way, the number of network nodes and bus cables are reduced by up to 80%.  For analog channels, the cost of an expensive analog module in the PLC and shielded cables running long distances can be reduced by implementing analog input devices right at the signal source.  Cost savings can also be realized in valve control and RFID.  BALLUFF.

2. FAST, SIMPLE, PROFINET CONNECTIVITY: Flexicon is a world leader in sterilized filling systems. For their new generation of closed loop peristaltic pump controllers - named MC100 - they chose to implement an Anybus CompactCom communication solution. A peristaltic pump is a type of positive displacement pump in which he fluid is contained within a flexible tube fitted inside a circular pump casing. Since the only part of the pump in contact with the fluid is the interior of the tube, it is easy to sterilize and clean the inside surfaces. That makes this kind of pump an excellent solution for the pharmaceutical industry. Thanks to Anybus, the MC100 can communicate with a PLC/HMI via PROFIBUS and that means users can easily adjust filling parameters or programs via an existing PLC/HMI. It also enables data collection from processes/functions on the entire filling line and offers customers a solution that meets CFR 21-11 and GAMP pharmaceutical standards.  HMS INDUSTRIAL NETWORKS.

THREE MINUTES TO PROFINET!: Not a video lasting three minutes, or even a faster way to configure a network, but a set of one-minute ways to gain PROFINET knowledge. The MinutePROFINET series (left) - produced by PI North America - has three films, all of which can be found on  YOUTUBE. This has to be the fastest way to learn the fundamentals. The series will be extended in coming months.

FIVE MINUTE PROFINET: The PROFI Interface Center in conjunction with PI North America has produced a video series on PROFINET designed to help engineers and developers understand how PROFINET works and what features are available in five minutes (or less) per session. An "Introduction to PROFINET technology" and "Using IO" devices with PROFINET have already been posted. The videos are on the  PI WEB SITE and the PI YOUTUBE CHANNEL.

TWO DAY PROFINET: PROFIblog has extensive coverage of the recent two-day PROFINET Executive Leadership Forum held in Miami, Florida (see story above). PROFIBLOG IS HERE.

IS ETHERNET A "PROTOCOL"?: Both PROFIblog and LinkedIn have seen increased activity recently with the topic of "Is Ethernet a protocol?" performing crossover in a discussion that has sucked in some notable opinions from the world's fieldbus "experts".  So, is Ethernet a "protocol?" Find out HERE and  HERE.

SOUTH KOREA: On 30th December 2011, the Korean Agency for Technology and Standards (KATS) announced that both PROFINET and PROFIBUS had been designated as Korean Standards. PROFIBUS and PROFINET thus became the first industrial communication networks to be standardized for Process Automation, Factory Automation and Real Time Industrial Ethernet in Korea. Rapid growth for PROFINET in Korea can be expected as a result of the Standards announcement by KATS, says Youg-Sik Cha, Chairman of the South Korean Regional PI Association.

CHINA: In December 2011, the Standardization Administration of the People's Republic of China (SAC) authorized the "PROFIBUS Profile for Process Control Devices (PROFIBUS PA)" as a Chinese national recommendatory standard (PROFIBUS PA GB/T 27526-2011). 80 representatives from a range of industry sectors participated in the official ceremony at the headquarters of the Minister in Beijing, led by Mr. Ouyang Jinsong (Secretary- General of SAC/TC124 Industry Process Measurement and Control). PROFIBUS PA is used to connect process field devices such as pressure, temperature, flow transmitters, and actuators, in process control networks. Standardization ensures that devices from different vendors interoperate in a process control system. In conjunction with the release of the PROFIBUS Profile for Process Control Devices, and combined with the establishment of a PROFIBUS test lab in China, this is expected to attract even more domestic vendors and users to support PROFIBUS.  CHINESE TEST LAB.

PROFINET DEVELOPMENT ENGINEER POSITION OPEN: The PROFI Interface Center (PIC) in Johnson City, TN, has an opening for a PROFINET Development Engineer.  Responsibilities include testing PROFINET products and providing consulting support for PROFINET components.  A Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering or Computer Engineering / Computer Science is required, also experience of developing embedded systems in industrial automation products.   ADDITIONAL INFORMATION.

SOUTH EAST ASIA: Regional PI Association Chairman Bernd Leiberth (left) writing in PI's international newsletter PROFINEWS (see Issue 87) said that 2011 was a good year for South East Asia. "The eight seminars conducted in the ASEAN countries - Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand and Philippines - attracted over 1000 participants, which we thought was a big success," he said. The first 2012 Seminar is scheduled for Bangkok, Thailand, during March. SOUTH EAST ASIA.

SOUTHERN AFRICA: IDX, who operate the PI Competence Center (PICC) in South Africa (left), are revamping their Certified PROFIBUS Training material and equipment in preparation for the 29 scheduled training courses in 2012. SOUTH AFRICA.

UK: Following the announcement by The PROFIBUS Group to attend the Engineering Design Show, it's 'all systems go' for still more exhibition support in 2012. Instrumentation Scotland and Offshore Systems Aberdeen and the Sensors + Systems for Control and Instrumentation show at Silverstone in October are already scheduled.  UK PROFIBUS GROUP.

INDIA: The Indian PROFIBUS, PROFINET Association (IPA) held its AGM in February. IPA has decided to undertake a survey for the PROFIBUS/PROFINET node count in India DURING 2012. INDIA.

AUSTRALIA: Demand for PI Certified technicians from Australia's mineral resources boom boosted PROFIBUS Training enrolments by over 25% during 2011, says Australia's RPA Chairman Rafael Koenig. UK Trainer Andy Verwer, making his 10th visit to Australia, conducted the sell-out classes. AUSTRALIA.

CZECH REPUBLIC: The PI Training Center (PITC) in Prague is now offering PROFINET training courses. Courses are held in the Czech or English languages. March, April and June have already been penned in. CZECH REPUBLIC.


ADVANCED FIELD CALIBRATOR AND COMMUNICATOR: The new Beamex MC6 Advanced Field Calibrator and Communicator can be a Meter, Calibrator, Documenting Calibrator, Data Logger and Fieldbus Communicator says its maker, and is a full fieldbus communicator for HART, FOUNDATION Fieldbus and PROFIBUS PA instruments. The CMX Calibration Software has been updated too. BEAMEX.

COMbricks GETS RELAYS: The COMbricks modular repeater platform with integrated ProfiTrace for permanent PROFIBUS monitoring now has relay modules to respond in real time when bus problems are detected. This enables applications to directly act on a machine when communications become unreliable. PROCENTEC says that it is the only monitor that can respond directly like this.  PROCENTEC.

DSL EXTENDER SURGES TO Ex: Because of strong demand for EX-area applications, this PROFIBUS DSL Extender is now available with approvals Ex II 3G EEx nA II T4 X. It allows PROFIBUS networks of up to 20km, with data rates up to 1.5 Mbit/s, even on non-PROFIBUS cable. In addition there are now two DSL connections, for up to 30 stations, plus surge protection offering two a/b connections. PHOENIX CONTACT.

ANALYTICAL CONTROLLER CERTIFIED: The Liquiline multichannel controller is the first to be certified to PROFIBUS PA profile 3.02. It offers 16x AI, 8x DI, 4x AO and 8x DO function blocks with up to 8 channels and a Plug and Play Memosens interface. Memosens allows sensor pre-calibration for fast exchange. Diagnostics conform to NAMUR NE107.   ENDRESS+HAUSER.

FLEXIBLE, LONGER, PROFIBUS NETWORKS: These compact PROFIBUS repeaters feature IP67 protection and can be installed in harsh environments without additional protection. Two or three galvanically-separated PROFIBUS repeater segments increase the operational reliability of machines and installations. Stub, star and tree structures are possible. MURRELEKTRONIK.

10 Gbit ETHERNET USES M12 CONNECTORS: The har-speed M12 differs significantly from today's M12 connectors for Ethernet because it is based on a 4-pair connector face with paired shielding, which allows Ethernet transfer rates up to 10 Gigabit over Cat6. The connectors can be used in machine and facility engineering, also for an IP 67 infrastructure. The basis is the new PAS 61076-2-10x spec. HARTING.

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©2012 PI North America


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