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Report from the Hannover Fair held on April 8-12.
If you weren't able to attend, check out the Field Communications Lounge here
Latest research confirms PROFINET and PROFIsafe market positions
KW Software takes PI past another milestone
Study our USA Map to see if we're coming to a location near you
More chances to become a Certified Network Engineer
Two tips for keeping those networks up and running
One more microvideo, plus 1000 followers for PROFINET LinkedIn group.
India, China, Korea and Indonesia promote at various fairs, seminars and other events
Diagnostic components that actually predict faults in PA devices plus, how to diagnose DP/PA networks from PROFINET.

PROFINET: IT MAY LOOK LIKE MAGIC BUT ... : Carl Henning reports from Hannover Fair 2013, which took place April 8-12. "The Field Communication Lounge at Hannover Fair was redesigned for 2013 and the new, open design was very inviting.  The heavy traffic through the booth, especially in the middle days of the five-day event, was evidence of how inviting it was. 

Visitors found it easy to navigate the booth and stop by to talk to experts. It was noticeable how constantly busy the booth was compared with nearby competitors. Instead of non-stop technical presentations (though there were some, e.g. the PROFIenergy robot), this year the Lounge featured magician Paul Gertner (below) who tied his sleight of hand magic into features of the various technologies in the Lounge.  Of course, I particularly liked the routine that showed PROFIBUS, PROFINET, and IO-Link!

The magic started me wondering: “Do our technologies look like magic to users?”  I know when we demonstrate PROFINET's Simple Device Replacement features at our PROFINET  one-day training classes in North America, it may look like magic since there are no address switches to set and since no computer is needed to replace a device.  But since engineers are naturally curious about how things work, we explain how it works.  That is kind of like cheating and telling how a magic trick is done, but it's necessary.

Arthur C. Clarke said: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”  PROFIBUS and PROFINET are certainly “sufficiently advanced technology” so they may work like magic but there's solid technology underneath.

I hope you will visit the PROFIblog for more commentary on other aspects of the Fair.  And please add comments about your own experiences at the fair, or your questions about what you missed if you were not able to attend."


Hannover Fair 2013 again saw PI showing its PROFIBUS, PROFINET and IO-Link technologies on a joint booth with four other automation organizations - FDT, FF, HART and OPC. The message was "See, Learn, Compare, Implement" for hundreds of visitors over the five days of the Fair. 

The 500 sq. m. booth provided a central location where all five organizations could be found together, avoiding the need to traipse around different halls in the huge Hannover Fair campus. The always-packed booth was a welcome place to sit, relax and socialize for vendors and users alike. The PI section was dominated by the PROFIenergy robot leading a puppet (left) around an urban park. Pauses simulated activity in a typical production line and the potential energy savings of PROFIenergy were displayed. Next to this was a new video of the value of PROFINET diagnostics, being shown by Xaver Schmidt (left), leader of the PROFINET Marketing Team. Up to 50% reductions in downtime are possible from the fast and comprehensive diagnostics supported by PROFINET. Watch the video here.

PROFIBUS panels (left) highlighted the ease of use of the world's most popular fieldbus system, especially in process automation environments, while nearby product 'walls' (right) showed the extent of the PROFINET portfolio today.

Elsewhere, there were demonstrations of the IO-Link system (left) for connecting intelligent sensors to higher level networks such as PROFIBUS and PROFINET and there was a detailed explanation (right) of the FDI (Field Device Integration) Cooperation, a unifying engineering solution for device integration and management based on EDD and FDT together, developed jointly by PI, FF, FDT, HART and OPC.

Carl Henning added in his PROFIblog (paraphrased here): "We have become accustomed to announcing technical advances yet this year the announcements were modest and non-technical.  PROFINET has reached the level of maturity that PROFIBUS reached before.  Advances now are in application profiles and applications. PROFIenergy continues to gain adoption. Security guidelines are being updated and the number and types of applications are blossoming. So the fact that major technical news was not forthcoming is really a major positive. Going forward we will see more icing on the cake, but the cake is fully baked at this point. There really was some worthwhile news though.  Watch for it in my next post." READ THE FULL BLOG.

PROFINET IN LEADING MARKET POSITION; PROFISAFE DOMINANT! In its new study “The World Market for Industrial Ethernet and Fieldbus Technologies – 2013 Edition,” UK research company IMS Research confirms PROFINET holds a market share of 30% today. Besides PROFINET, the leading group of Industrial Ethernet solutions providers includes Ethernet/IP and Modbus TCP/IP. Together, these cover more than three-quarters of the market. EtherCAT and Powerlink - which focus mainly on drives technology - have a market share of 7% and 9% respectively, according to the study.

Among the three leaders, PROFINET is at the top in terms of future outlook. IMS Research says that a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of +16.9% is expected for PROFINET, compared to +14.8% for EtherNet/IP and 15.9% for Modbus TCP.

The growth of PROFIsafe, PI's profile for functional safety, is especially strong. With a 50% increase in newly-installed nodes, one in ten new PROFIBUS or PROFINET devices is currently equipped with PROFIsafe. According to IMS, the market share of PROFIsafe is 41%, which puts PROFIsafe clearly in the number 1 spot among safety-related industrial communications profiles. IMS.

50th COMPETENCE CENTER ANNOUNCED: PI has appointed its 50th PI Competence Center (PICC) for PROFIBUS and PROFINET. KW Software of Ann Arbor, MI, which is a subsidiary of Phoenix Contact, one of the chief supporters of PROFINET around the world, will offer workshops, training classes and technical support for PROFINET. It has particular skills in the integration of PROFINET in automation devices. It was the developer of the TPS-1 Tiger chip for low-cost PROFINET slaves and recently signed an agreement with Intel to provide software for their new i210 Ethernet Controller as an easily-implementable solution for PROFINET RT and PROFINET IRT masters.

KW Business Development Manager Michael Mason (left), commented: “Becoming a PI Competence Center opens up new doors for KW Software and the PROFINET community. At our Ann Arbor facility we have certified PROFINET engineers and the right kind of equipment necessary for automation vendors to fully leverage what is the best and most popular Industrial Ethernet standard. We look forward to helping the PROFINET community by providing dependable solutions for all kinds of automation vendors.”

Michael Bryant, Executive Director of PI North America said: “The need for PROFINET support is growing dramatically in USA, Canada and Mexico, particularly since major North American car manufacturers decided to use it as their production networking standard.“ The number of PICCs is expected to grow during the next 12 months. Candidates in Argentina and Japan have already indicated their interest.  KW SOFTWARE.


There are still plenty of opportunities to join one of PI North America's FREE training classes for PROFIBUS and PROFINET. See map for upcoming locations or CLICK HERE to visit the training class page on CARL HENNING'S BLOG Is a great way to see what's happened in 2013 so far. The class is "new, revised, re-ordered, and more detailed," he says.

  • Download the class agenda for PROFINET
  • Download the class agenda for PROFIBUS
  • Classes count towards Professional Development Hours.

If you can't make it to one of these classes, consider our webinar program.

"GET CERTIFIED" AND BOOST YOUR CAREER: Certified Training Classes are comprehensive multi-day programs that provide deep insight into the workings of each PI protocol. With a hands-on approach and small class sizes, students receive individual attention.  Students passing the theoretical and practical exams become qualified as a Certified Network Engineer. Upcoming certifying events are:

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May 7th - 10th
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Nov 4th - 8th
Dec     Johnson City, TN
Dec 2nd - 6th

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

TECHNOLOGY TIP 1 - WILEY SAVES TIME WITH TESTER 4: Wiley Engineering, a systems integrator in the Atlanta area specializing in Automation Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Instrumentation Engineering, and Project Management, identified Softing's PROFIBUS Tester 4 as a tool to significantly reduce the commissioning time of a control system based on PROFIBUS. Their Chris Wiley explained why the tool was so valuable: "One option is to configure each PROFIBUS node separately, connect it to the DCS, and confirm data transfer.  Typically,  it could take two people several hours to confirm each device. This plug-and-test commissioning process can be optimized by breaking the field devices into groups, but this inevitably leads to either the person at the DCS “waiting” for the person at the PROFIBUS devices or vice versa. By employing PROFIBUS Tester 4 we were able to eliminate this “wait time” by confirming the proper network configuration and communication prior to engaging the person at the DCS.  Once all field devices were confirmed by the controls engineer, the robust, proven network was fully documented and handed over to the engineer responsible for the DCS.  The hardware was quickly configured in the DCS and function testing proceeded smoothly." There is an additional time-savings aspect, adds Wiley. "The fact, that the PROFIBUS Tester identifies potential, covert failure nuisances before DCS commissioning started further reduces the overall time by about 25%!" SOFTING.

TECHNOLOGY TIP 2 - REDUNDANCY AND DIAGNOSTICS WITH PROFINET: Downtime negatively impacts operations and hence bottom line. Some plant downtimes cost an average of $12,500 per hour so reducing downtime as much as possible is important. Redundancy is one way to achieve this. The most obvious approach is to duplicate the entire infrastructure but a more cost-effective alternative is to use PROFINET Media Redundancy Protocol (MRP). MRP provides each node with a backup physical connection to every other node using a ring topology which effectively provides two physical paths between each node. One node is the Media Redundancy Manager, C1 in the figure, which monitors the ring. Test Packets are sent from one of its ring ports and if these are received on its other port, C1 views the ring as healthy. However, if it discovers a failure (in device or cable), C1 passes data between its two ports and notifies the relevant ring participants that a new data path is now being used. But PROFINET can help even further too. PROFINET I/O controllers and I/O devices provide diagnostic data that indicate link failures as well as overall node health. These indicators can be used to identify the failure type and are available automatically in the process data, allowing them to be used by the User Program Logic to react appropriately. They can alert operators or maintenance personnel to the location and nature of the failure and send alerts to historian software for trending or other analysis. In conclusion, PROFINET with MRP provides network redundancy with minimal impact on total cost of ownership and provides built-in network diagnostics that integrate with control system solutions to help identify and visualize failures quickly and accurately. (Extracted from an article in Manufacturing Business Technology). GE INTELLIGENT PLATFORMS.

MINUTE BY MINUTE IT GROWS: The latest PROFINET microvideo has been published on YouTube. "MinutePROFINET: For Process Industries" explains why PROFINET, with its four special process automation features, is the perfect partner for almost any popular process fieldbus network, especially of course PROFIBUS. The video takes only 60 seconds to tell all. Marvel at yet another of PROFINET's valuable attributes.

PROFIblog has updates on the Hannover Fair and other recent events, plus further examples of Carl Henning's unique writing style - always automation-centric of course.

The LinkedIn PROFINET group just passed 1000 members. Are you following?

@chenning just passed 500 followers on Twitter.

India: In Q1 2013, IPA (the Indian PROFIBUS and PROFINET Association) held two Road Shows in two cities, followed by a Fair and Conference. IPA also attended the IATF Exhibition, India's premier automation event, and published its eighth newsletter. INDIA.

China: In March, PI China supported the SPS Industrial Automation Fair in Guangzhou. A multi-vendor product wall was shown and a series of seminars was held. Siemens' China Automation Systems Business Unit held a 1-day seminar on PROFINET and Functional Safety at which Dr. Liu Dan, the secretary general of PI China, gave a presentation on the "History and Future of PROFINET." PI CHINA

Korea: RPA Korea participated in the Automation World 2013 Fair in Seoul during March, where members showed their products and services using a multi-vendor demo and individual display member displays. Parallel seminars were organized under the headings "PROFIBUS Development with profichip", and "PROFIBUS System Applications with Siemens." KOREA

Indonesia: The PROFIBUS/PROFINET Association South East Asia conducted its first PROFIBUS/PROFINET Seminar of the year in Cikarang, Indonesia, which 110 people attended. The new PROFINET multi-vendor demo was introduced, showing the wireless integration of PROFIBUS DP/PA, also the integration of different products and protocols. Bernd Lieberth, President of PROFIBUS/PROFINET Association South East Asia, presented latest news and sales figures. SOUTH EAST ASIA .

INTELLIGENT DIAGNOSTICS PREDICT FAULTS: Pepperl+Fuchs has developed a new generation of components with diagnostic capability to detect faults before they occur, and prevent them escalating. The company studied typical fault types closely over many years and used this knowledge as the basis for its new Advanced Diagnostics components, which respond immediately to specific faults. Information is transferred using the standard fieldbus infrastructure, which means that no additional investment is needed. A gateway is integrated with minimum effort using automatic tools. It is self-configuring and locates the connected diagnostic modules on its own. These new intelligent components extend diagnostic capability and are an important step on the path to complete availability, says the company. All the new components are suitable for integration in PROFIBUS PA networks. PEPPERL+FUCHS .

SPACE-SAVING DIAGNOSIS OF DP, PA OVER PROFINET: isNet DiagM comprise PROFIBUS DP and PA master and diagnostic modules for the integration and diagnosis of PROFIBUS DP and PROFIBUS PA from PROFINET. Up to five are connected to a PROFINET head station - isNet PNGate - giving 10 PROFIBUS DP and 20 PROFIBUS PA channels. This configuration can then be used for PROFIBUS diagnostic and control functions from PROFINET without any additional hardware or cables. In addition to master functionality isNet DiagM DP and PA support live lists of the network, error statistics, event log, telegram and long-term recording. The isNet DiagM DP also supports long-term recordings on memory card. IFAK SYSTEM


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