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Report from the PI Conference held on March 6/7
News from the PI training circuit and dates for your calendar
Boost your career with one of these classes
A common booth at Europe's leading industrial trade show
Sky-diver joins PI Support Center in Karlsruhe
PROFIblog leads from the front; web site makes PROFINET/PROFIBUS easy
News from the Middle East, Italy and Belgium
You wait ages for a new chip solution ... then three come along at once!

PI CONFERENCE ADDRESSES "THE INTERNET OF THINGS": The biennial PI Conference was held March 6/7 in "The Old Kettle House", part of a former steelworks in Dusseldorf, Germany. The Kettle House once produced steam to generate power for the plant. Today everything is quiet and parts of the plant have been converted into conference facilities. In a break with tradition, the "keynote" was delivered by German stand-up Bernhard Hoëcker (left) who engaged brilliantly with his audience, entertaining while conveying key PI technical messages in humorous ways! He even introduced new meanings to profiles such as PROFIsafe, about which we should say no more here!

A favorite part of the Conference is always the Podium Discussion. This year's asked what role Industrial Communications has to play in the "Internet of Things," provoking a wide-ranging conversation about "Industry 4.0", which Moderator Reinhard Hüppe of ZVEI said is an evolutionary rather than revolutionary aspect of automation today. WHAT'S INDUSTRY 4.0?

The twin themes of Diagnostics and Integration were covered extensively in two parallel streams. PROFIBUS and PROFINET diagnostics were popular choices, leading as they do to greater reliability, reduced downtime and better ROI. There were end user presentations too. Notable was one by ABB’s Trygve Harvei who explained his choice of PROFINET for current oil/gas projects in the North Sea. Later, Thomas Debes described how his company - manroland - is using PROFINET IRT to build presses that achieve 99.75% uptime while printing 90,000 newspaper copies per hour! FULLER REPORT HERE.

NODE COUNTS WITH CHIPS: At a Press Conference held during the Conference PI Chairman Karsten Schneider presented the latest node counts for PROFIBUS, PROFINET and PROFIsafe, while Intel's Nathan Mather (left) introduced a new Ethernet controller optimized in partnership with KW Software for the easy deployment of PROFINET RT and IRT.

TRAINERS ON THE ROAD: With several classes already under his belt, training guru Carl Henning has been blogging about the early successes of his travels promoting PROFINET. READ CARL'S BLOG HERE. Carl describes the 2013 PROFINET program as "new, revised, re-ordered, and more detailed." Carl and PROFIBUS trainer Michael Bowne, together with Ron Mitchell and Torsten Paulsen, will be visiting locations near you throughout 2013. Check out the venues HERE and below. They'd love to see you at one of them.


Michael Bowne
Ron MItchell

Carl Henning
Torsten Paulsen

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 Oct 24th Troy, MI Oct 15th
Nov Baton Rouge, LA Nov 19th Louisville, KY Nov 5th
Dec   Orlando, FL tba
  Watch this page for 2013 updates.

Classes count towards Professional Development Hours.

PLENTY OF OPPORTUNITIES TO "GET CERTIFIED": Why not boost your career by becoming Certified as a PROFINET or PROFIBUS Engineer? There are plenty of opportunities in 2013 - see below. The PROFI Interface Center (PIC) offers classes from Johnson City, TN, while the process automation specialists operate from Peterborough, ON.

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 April class still has 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.

FIELD COMMUNICATIONS LOUNGE AT HANNOVER FAIR: Europe's largest industrial fair takes place April 9-12 and PI will be there in force, once again supporting the Field Communications Lounge in Hall 9, Booth D76. PI and its members will display all the greatest technologies, including PROFIBUS, PROFINET, PROFIsafe, PROFIenergy, PROFIdrive, and IO-Link. A special highlight is the live demo of a robot operating a marionette to demonstrate the principles of PROFIenergy, especially the potential for energy saving during production as well as the possibilities for recording energy consumption data and forwarding it to higher-level production control systems. Other organizations participating in the Field Communication Lounge are FDT Group, Fieldbus Foundation, Hart Communication Foundation, and OPC Foundation. The FCL is centrally-located to allow visitors to engage with each organization without having to visit different booths.


SKYDIVER SILKE AT PI SUPPORT CENTER: Say "Hi" to Silke Glastetter. She works at the PI Support Center (PISC) in Karlsruhe which looks after the 27 Regional PI Associations (RPAs) around the world. Silke gained her marketing-oriented Bachelor of Business Administration degree at Mannheim before working for an event management agency for about six years prior to joining PI. She is in charge of all kinds of PROFINET marketing activities, including organizing PROFINET, PROFIsafe and Drives Workshops, being also responsible for online marketing and new media, and coordinating the PI network. "My goals," she says, "are to grow more and more in my role as our international representative. I am a partner for the RPAs, being their contact person for all issues and questions." In her leisure hours Silke likes sky-diving. She told PROFINEWS: "I can say, with the words of a marketing-based skydiver - let´s go up to 12000 feet with PI and see the world from above. I want to work closely with all kinds of people and develop independently new ideas and strategies. I have learned that technical topics don´t have to be boring and that technicians can be very social and communicative. I always wanted to work internationally and have the chance to travel. Now I am living my dream."

NEW WEB SITE MAKES PROFINET ACCESS EASY: PI North America's NEW WEB PRESENCE takes a bright new approach to web site design. Its openness and ease of access applies particularly to the PROFINET sections, where one click takes you in easy steps through the reasons, advantages and promises of the most powerful Industrial Ethernet in the world. It incorporates all the best features of the All Things PROFINET web site but handles them in a linear fashion. Scrolling through the various segments guides the reader through the features using non-technical language. The site's PROFIBUS section uses the same approach. The site has many other easy-to-access features - including newsletter archives, member lists, registration points for the many classes, seminars and courses run by PI North America and much more. VISIT THE HOME PAGE.

PROFIblog keeps you up to date with automation matters, particularly those to do with PROFINET and PROFIBUS. FOLLOW PROFIblog HERE.

Middle East: PI Middle East conducted its first PROFINET Technology Seminar at Al Murooj Rotana, Dubai in February, attended by over 120 end-users, system integrators, consultants and PROFIBUS/PROFINET enthusiasts. The presentations are downloadable from MIDDLE EAST.


Italy: In March, Consorzio PNI attended "MC4 - Motion Control For ", the main exhibition dedicated to motion control and "OMC - Offshore Mediterranean Conference", the major oil and gas event in the Mediterranean Region.  ITALY.


Belgium: PI was one of the sponsors of the 9th Process Management Academy, held in Antwerp and organized by the ARC Advisory Group and PROCESS magazine. The event included presentations by end users, ARC analysts and other industry experts.  BELGIUM.

PROFIBUS MASTER DEPLOYABLE ON VARIETY OF FPGAs: This new PROFIBUS Master solution can be deployed on a variety of standard FPGAs. For manufacturers this means a flexible PROFIBUS interface can be manufactured without using specific fieldbus ASICs. The software consists of an IP core for the bus control logic, and a complete protocol stack which runs on an FPGA internal processor. The controller application can be realized externally or internally. The Bus Control Logic is also available in a version with line redundancy.  SOFTING.


NO-HASSLE FPGA INDUSTRIAL ETHERNET: PROFINET RT and PROFINET IRT are the first protocols available with Altera's new licensing structure, which simplifies the integration of FPGA-based Industrial Ethernet designs. Developed in collaboration with Softing Industrial Automation, the new licensing structure provides system developers with access to PROFINET with no upfront license fees, no per-unit royalty reporting or protracted negotiations, and in a single Altera FPGA. An embedded processor configures the FPGA at power-up with the desired protocol. In this way, a single board can work with a range of protocols without hardware modifications. ALTERA.


PROFINET RT AND IRT: At the recent Embedded World Fair, KW Software introduced a cost-effective new solution for PROFINET IRT.  The PROFINET stack uses the special features of the latest Intel Ethernet Controller I210. The Intel Ethernet Controller I210 provides optimized PROFINET RT and IRT support for PC-based controls and automation devices, with support for the Intel Ethernet Controller I210 integrated into the PROFINET IRT software stack. KW-Software will offer the solution for different CPU architectures and real-time operating systems such as Wind River VxWorks. A step-by-step migration from PROFINET RT to IRT is possible at any time. Features such as time-stamping and separate in-chip queues for handling real-time communication make this controller an outstanding, cost-effective alternative to custom ASICs, says the company. KW SOFTWARE.

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