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Two milestones are passed in the history of this newsletter
PROFINET overtakes PROFIBUS as the PIC in Johnson City, TN invests in the future
Our trainers will be visiting a town or city near you. Why not partake?
Even more opportunities to boost your value and career prospects
Three key PROFIsafe training opportunities; the FDI Specification is published
Two White Papers, certified Cisco switches, and new distributors for Hilscher
PROFINET videos, a new web site for PI North America, and LinkedIn links
Germany, Middle East, South East Asia, Japan, Finland, Australia
Monitoring PROFIBUS DP in hazardous areas; a PROFIBUS active terminator;
CANOpen gateway for PROFINET

100,000 RECEIVE OUR 50th EDITION: PROFINEWS North America is 50! This remarkable milestone comes just a month after sister newsletter PROFINEWS (published internationally from Europe) reached its 100th issue (see HERE and HERE). Both achievements highlight just how PI stands head and shoulders above its competitors.

A second major milestone has also been passed. PROFINEWS North America is distributed in a variety of ways, including email alerts sent via PI North America's own mailing lists and the mailing lists of Automation World magazine. For some time the total email distribution has hovered around 90,000 but with the previous issue, and for this issue too, the total number of recipients has exceeded 100,000!

Michael Bryant, PI North America's Executive Director, said: "It's been an amazing journey. PROFIBUS and PROFINET both face serious competition in our marketplace but we've made great progress, especially in recent years. PROFIBUS is now as popular here as it is in Europe and we have PROFINET on an equal footing with other Industrial Ethernets. I'd like to congratulate everyone on this achievement, members included, and for making PROFINEWS North America so successful too."


1000th CERTIFIED ENGINEER IN SIGHT: The PROFI Interface Center (PIC) in Johnson City, TN, has made a significant investment in new equipment and systems to enhance its ability to train industrial networking engineers. The PIC was the first PI Training Center (PITC) in the world to deliver Certified Network Engineer training for PROFINET and PROFIBUS. It began operations in 1996. Training Center Manager Torsten Paulsen said: “Certified Network Engineers receive intense training in PROFINET and/or PROFIBUS over five days. During the past 17 years we have certified 887 Network Engineers and we expect to certify our 1000th graduate sometime in the coming 12 months.”

Paulsen added: “Almost one third of our successful students these days are certified for PROFINET and in 2012 the PIC certified twice as many PROFINET engineers as PROFIBUS DP/PA engineers demonstrating the momentum PROFINET now has in North America.” The PIC is North America's only organization dedicated to Certifying “Network Engineers” for PROFIBUS and PROFINET.

PROFIBUS classes focus on PROFIBUS DP for discrete automation but the PIC also has a PROFIBUS PA “add-on.” A combined class for PROFIBUS DP/PA was recently added, enabling two Network Engineer certificates to be gained in one week. PIC.

FREE TRAINING IN PROFIBUS AND PROFINET: 2013's free training class program is now well under way, with the first event of the year proving a real winner. Training guru Carl Henning, just back from the first PROFINET one-day training class of 2013, blogged that attendee feedback included the comment that "it was overall one of the best seminars I ever attended." It was interesting to get this feedback, he said because: "for me every class is the best!" Read Carl's PROFIBLOG. Find the year-long program of class venues HERE and below. Don't forget that classes count towards Professional Development Hours.

Mar Cleveland, OH Mar 7th Austin, TX Mar 21st
Apr Mount Laurel, NJ Apr 3rd Golden, CO Apr 16th
Burlington, ON Apr 30th
May   Pittsburgh, PA May 9th
Naperville, IL May 23rd
Jun Richmond, VA Jun 13th Irving, TX Aug 15th
Aug Rancho Cordova, CA Aug 29th  
Sep Atlanta, GA tba Raleigh, NC Sept 12
Oct New York, NY tba Troy, MI Oct 15th
Nov Baton Rouge, LA Nov 19th Louisville, KY Nov 5th
Dec   Orlando, FL tba
  Watch this page for 2013 updates.

BECOME A CERTIFIED ENGINEER: Boost your career prospects by becoming a Certified Engineer in the best networking technology of the automation world. There are even more opportunities to become Certified in 2013. The PROFI Interface Center (PIC) offers classes from Johnson City, TN, with the process automation specialists operating out of Peterborough, ON.

Mar     Johnson City, TN
Mar 25th - 29th
Apr Johnson City, TN
Apr 8th - 12th
May Johnson City, TN
May 6th - 10th
Peterborough, ON
May 7th - 10th
Jun     Johnson City, TN
Jun 10th - 14th
Jul Johnson City, TN
Jul 22nd - 26th
Aug Johnson City, TN
Aug 12th - 16th
Sep     Johnson City, TN
Sep 9th - 13th
Nov Johnson City, TN
Nov 4th - 8th
Dec     Johnson City, TN
Dec 2nd - 6th

NB: The March and April classes still have seats available but don't dawdle, register soon!

On-site classes can be arranged. Contact the PI North America office, or email:
Monitor our 2013 PROGRAM HERE.

PROFIsafe TRAINING CLASSES: Three important training opportunities are available in 2013 for engineers wishing to become certified in the design and use of PROFIsafe in automation. The courses all take place in Karlsruhe, Germany but are held in English to suit the widest possible audience. The courses are:

PROFIsafe Certified Designer Courses on March 19-21, 2013 and October 15-17, 2013. These three day sessions include written tests; candidates passing all tests receive a TÜV “Certified PROFIsafe Designer” certificate. More information at  MARCH and  OCTOBER.

PROFIsafe Refresher Course on October 10th, for PROFIsafe Certified Designers needing to update their certificates according to the PROFIsafe 3-year renewal policy.  REFRESHER COURSE.

FDI SPECIFICATION AVAILABLE FOR COMMENT: FDI is a technology that combines the advantages of FDT with those of EDDL in a single, scalable solution for configuration, commissioning, diagnosis and calibration. It makes engineering and asset management simple for users currently trying to get to grips with two separate technologies. If you are building a PROFIBUS PA device today you need to think about deploying one, or even both, which makes no sense as interoperability, support and cost issues must be confronted by all concerned. By contrast, FDI combines the best of each in a single, unified solution allowing one tool to span platforms and protocols for managing intelligent field devices during all life cycle phases. PI has been actively involved in the development of the FDI specification through the FDI Cooperation project. More information HERE. The specification can be read HERE. Comments are requested by May 16th 2013.

WHITE PAPERS PUBLISHED: Recent White Papers include:

  • Four-Pair Solution for the Future PROFINET Cabling for Extended Plant Concepts: New four-pair PROFINET cables can address more demanding plant and system concepts. Industrial Ethernet is successfully used in automation but an important requirement is cabling technology optimized for easy installation. The determining features of fieldbuses and Industrial Ethernet include the conductor cross sections, number of conductors and color coding. Published by Phoenix Contact. DOWNLOAD.
  • Guide to Implementing PROFIBUS PA Field Devices: Field device manufacturers are interested in reducing the expense of development and time-to-market. This can be achieved the use of pre-engineered hardware and software components. Published by Softing. DOWNLOAD.

SWITCHES CERTIFIED: Cisco's IE2000 switch series has passed PROFINET certification tests. The Cisco IE2000 delivers reliable, secure network connectivity, high-availability, fast convergence, and easy management tools, with exchange of alarm diagnostics to reduce downtimes.  CISCO.

DISTRIBUTORS SIGNED: Hilscher North America has announced an extensive channel development plan to support users of the netTAP, netLINK, netBRICK, and CIFX gateways and proxies. Two US distributors - Professional Control Corporation (PCC) in Germantown, WI and Electro-Matic Products (EMP) in Farmington Hills, MI - have been signed. Both are also Siemens Automation distributors.  HILSCHER.

A MINUTE OF YOUR TIME: PI's energy management profile PROFIenergy has just been added to the list of minute-long YouTube videos that explain the benefits of PROFINET in short chunks. You won't find a quicker or easier way to learn. There are now nine to watch. MinutePROFINET.

NEW WEB SITE: PI North America's new web site is here.

LINKEDIN: Lively automation discussions take place here. Search on PROFIBUS and PROFINET.

Germany: A major conference took place in March, in Dusseldorf, Germany, the main theme of which was "Integration and Diagnostics." All aspects of networking, communications, equipment and systems over the life cycle of a plant were covered. One highlight was a panel discussion entitled: Factory 4.0 - What is the Role in Industrial Communication for the "Internet of Things"? GERMANY.

Middle East: PROFIBUS Ireland in co-operation with Industrial Technologies (ITEC) has conducted a Certified PROFIBUS Engineers Course in Beirut. MIDDLE EAST.

South East Asia: The PROFIBUS/PROFINET Association South East Asia conducted its final seminar of 2012 in Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam, attracting 120 participants. Five seminars were held in total during 2012, with over 600 attending. SOUTH EAST ASIA.

Japan: Japanese PROFIBUS Organization (JPO) joined the SEMICON Japan Fair 2012 in December AND showed new PROFINET products from Yaskawa Electric and SMC, both developed in Japan. JAPAN.

Finland: PROFIBUS Club Finland has a new Board, chaired by Hannu Aarrelampi of Hantekno. The previous chairman, Taisto Kaijanen, formerly of AEL, has retired but can be reached temporarily at The new Board includes Siemens, Festo, and ABB Drives.

Australia: "The number of PROFIBUS graduates trained in 2012 has consolidated us as the world's second highest ranked regional PROFIBUS training provider", claims PROFIBUS Australia. Last year, the number of successful graduates were: Certified Installers - 100, Commissioning/Maintenance - 101, and Certified Engineers - 13. AUSTRALIA.

MONITORING PROFIBUS IN HAZARDOUS AREAS VIA ETHERNET: The COMbricks RS 485-IS Barrier supports PROFIBUS DP IS segments in hazardous areas that can be remotely monitored over Ethernet from safe areas. With this innovation, hot permits for monitoring PROFIBUS in hazardous areas are not required. COMbricks complies with the specifications for PROFIBUS DP in IS segments and drives 31 RS 485-IS PROFIBUS DP devices. ProfiTrace and Oscilloscope are integrated. COMbricks can also be used as a bus monitor on existing IS segments created by third party barriers. PROCENTEC.


ACTIVE PROFIBUS DP TERMINATOR: AT303 is an active terminator that was developed to increase PROFIBUS network availability and facilitate access to any node on the PROFIBUS DP network without generating intermittence or communication faults. Thus, any PROFIBUS slave can be removed or replaced without compromising the communication, even when terminators are enabled in the slaves at the extremes of network segments. SMAR.


PROFINET-CANopen GATEWAY: The COP-CON 220 gateway enables bi-directional data exchange between low-cost CANopen devices and PROFINET systems as well as the provision of data from PROFINET for use in CANopen. The gateway operates as a PROFINET I/O device and uses slots and sub-slots for data exchange. On the CANopen side, the device acts as a CANopen NMT master with PDO and SDO support. A configuration tool is included baased on EDS, CDC and GSDML files. The gateway has an integrated 2-port switch allowing easy integration into line topologies. Device configuration and firmware upgrades can be made via a USB 2.0 port. IXXAT

Published by PI North America

16101 N. 82nd Street, Suite 3B

Scottsdale, AZ 85260

©2013 PI North America


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