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PI North America Exec Director remarks on the ongoing success of PROFIBUS
Annual members' get together held late September
The first new sugar factory for 40 years finds PROFIBUS makes the difference
Devon Canada's latest oil sands project turns to PROFIBUS for help
Is there a limit to the length of a PROFIBUS PA spur line
There's no better way to become and expert than to attend an official training course
Our countrywide training tours provide an ideal introduction to networking
Kuebler Inc. is open for business in Charlotte, NC
Exactly different, but nightmares are removed in minutes in this rundown of PI social activity
Italy, Australia, France, China and Brazil all feature
All about PROFINET encoders, PA segment protectors, diagnostic software and compact CPUs

A WINNING COMBINATION: Reading the current international edition of PROFINEWS – it has a strong focus on PROFIBUS PA - it struck me how far PROFINET's older sibling has come in the 20 or more years since it was created. In the rarefied atmosphere of Industrial Ethernet it's easy to wonder why PROFIBUS PA has not been superseded by PROFINET. Indeed, my colleague Klaus Peter Lindner wonders in his lead article whether process automation will ever be overtaken by factory automation technologies.

More and more factory automation concepts are spilling over into process but there are still big differences. One of the most important is openness which, as Lindner points out, in factory automation extends from systems down to sensors and actuators. By contrast, in the process industry, openness ends at the system level due to safety and reliability issues. In process too, non-safe areas are mostly hazardous and could adversely impact people and the environment. These cannot be made safe using the same kind of direct protective measures as used in the factory space. Thus, the criteria for process equipment have to be far more restrictive. There are also environmental challenges, including geographically wider distributions.

PROFIBUS PA is well-established and proven, and along with PROFIBUS DP it dominates process, especially in hybrid situations. There's no doubt that PROFINET will grow in process automation too, though not where intrinsic safety, power distribution or long distances are required. The real beauty of PROFINET however is that it that easily integrates with PROFIBUS PA networks. That means the benefits of both are accessible to process - a winning combination!

Maybe process automation will never be totally captured by factory automation networks. But I believe that both will continue to learn from each other. And I am sure that ever tighter integration will lead to the two sitting effectively side by side, just as PROFIBUS DP and PROFIBUS PA do today.

Michael Bryant, Executive Director PI North America

GENERAL ASSEMBLY MEETING: The 2013 GAM was held in Scottsdale Marriot McDowell Mountains in the last week of September and more than 60 member companies attended to hear the sparkling presentations. End user topics included: "PROFINET on the Norwegian Continental Shelf" and "PROFIBUS at Jim Beam, an Intoxicating Journey" while major vendors explained: 'Why we're on Board." Diagnostics, security and PROFIBUS PA were among the technical session topics and there was a serious look at the marketing programs planned for 2014, which is PI North America's 20th anniversary. We'll have a full report in our next issue due October 28th. Above left are the attendees at the the 2012 event. UPDATE: As we went to press, the picture below of delegates at the 2013 GAM reached us. More in our next edition on 28th October.

PROFIBUS ENSURES SMOOTH SUGAR REFINERY START UP: It isn't often that an engineering team has the opportunity to build a new sugar refinery. In fact, the new refinery in Gramercy, LA is the first new one in the United States in 40 years. And PROFIBUS technology was a key component in achieving smooth startup. Managers wanted to achieve better process control with the new technology, but they received many additional benefits including better energy efficiency, steam reduction, improved productivity, and improved product quality.

The refinery is a joint venture of agriculture giant Cargill and the Louisiana Sugar Growers Association, involving a $220 million investment.  Siemens PCS 7 controllers formed the base platform along with redundant servers for the operator stations. Another server was dedicated to administrative tasks. PROFIBUS DP and PA fieldbus constituted the control network with designers implementing fiber-optic ring topologies. Motor control was housed in three motor control centers (MCCs) that were delivered pre-wired with capability for the PROFIBUS ring in and out.

The fiber ring helped during development and commissioning. Management did not wish to shut down processing so, when engineers commissioned a process, they simply unplugged the ring, plugged in the new process and re-made the ring connection. Managers reported that implementation of the entire refinery using this process "worked great!" 

Siemens Simocode Pro smart motor overload with PROFIBUS provided motor control, protection and key diagnostic, statistical and maintenance data.  It also allowed remote configuration and eliminated the need for a controller to check initial rotation at commissioning.

Authored by: Gary Mintchell, founder of  The Manufacturing Connection

Footnote: The original plant is old enough to be listed on the Historic Register. Originally built in a geographically-remote area, owners built a village complete with school and church for the first workers. Work is stable enough that there are actually many fourth-generation employees.

OIL SAND WELLS BENEFIT FROM PROFIBUS: Devon Canada's Jackfish SAGD (Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage) operations comprise Jackfish, Jackfish 2 and the currently under-construction Jackfish 3. Jackfish and Jackfish 2 each produce 35,000 barrels of bitumen heavy oil per day, with estimated total recoverable resources of 300 million barrels in the holdings. Endress+Hauser was a partner in the planning, construction, support and operation of Jackfish 2 and is now involved with Jackfish 3. PROFIBUS has proven its value during construction, commissioning and operations. “We really saw a low-risk opportunity to deploy a technology that will help us continue to be a leader,” says Douglas Burnett, Instrumentation Coordinator, Thermal Heavy Oil, with Devon Canada. “Our technicians adapted well and the technology has proven to be robust and durable. PI has done a very good job of keeping the protocol consistent and managing changes so we, as end users, can expect consistency in performance and interoperability. Jackfish 2 well pads are symmetrical in design, making PROFIBUS easy to engineer and manage. There was a significant saving in cabling. Devon Canada has also been able to shift a significant amount of work to its fabrication yards. “This is a tremendous advantage,” says Burnett, “as we are able to work more efficiently and take pressure off of our camp facilities. In the field we have been able to add devices much quicker and technicians are able to remotely modify the configuration and troubleshoot problems. This saves time and in our climate, especially in winter, it is a much easier task for our teams.” Jackfish 3 is starting with four seven-well pair pads, with additional pads every one to two years afterwards. “Configuration of new well pads is very quick, as we can communicate with several devices at once,” explains Burnett. “We are able to replicate one well pad from another in minutes." The time required to pre-commission and verify equipment prior to shipment is also much shorter, as is formal commissioning.  “PROFIBUS provides nearly real-time retrieval of diagnostic and statistical data from each device,” adds Burnett. “This will help us be proactive in the way we do maintenance. More time can be spent defining our assets, managing processes and optimization. It should also allow our technicians to be more effective.”  ENDRESS + HAUSER.


IS THERE A LIMIT TO THE LENGTH OF A SPUR LINE FOR PROFIBUS PA? The maximum length of a spur line in PROFIBUS PA is related to the number of spur lines on the segment. The chart below shows these ranges. The most important range is at the 25-device mark, where the maximum spur length for all the spurs drops from 30 meters to under one meter. It is easy to look at the chart and think that the drops are too drastic. You may be thinking, “Surely adding one more devices cannot have that much of an effect.” My response is “Yes, it can!” We have seen many end users test this chart out, with similar results. It should be noted, however, that if you need to modify this, you could always make use of a PA repeater. In fact, some manufacturers have integrated PA repeaters into their junction boxes, permitting all spur lines to be up to 120 meters long.

Contributed by James Powell , co-author of "Catching the Process Fieldbus: An Introduction to Profibus for Process Automation." Do you have a Tech Tip for our readers? Email Carl Henning.

CLASSES FOR CERTIFIED ENGINEERS: There's no better way to learn about PROFIBUS and PROFINET than to attend one of the official training course organized by PI North America in conjunction with the PIC in Johnson City. See our class schedule here and get signed up today! Here's a list of upcoming events:

Oct     Johnson City, TN
Oct 7th - 11th
Nov Johnson City, TN
Nov 4th - 8th
  Peterborough, ON
Nov 11
Dec     Johnson City, TN
Dec 2nd - 6th

On-site classes can be arranged. Contact the PI North America office, or email:

LEARN THE BASICS ... FREE!: Our countrywide training tours provide an ideal introduction to the PI world of networking. There are still plenty of opportunities to join a class in 2013. The table below shows a list of dates. Or, CLICK HERE to visit the training class page on Classes count towards Professional Development Hours.


Michael Bowne
Ron Mitchell

Carl Henning
Torsten Paulsen

Oct New York, NY Oct 24th Troy, MI Oct 15th
Nov Baton Rouge, LA Nov 19th Louisville, KY Nov 5th
Dec   Orlando, FL Dec 12th
  Watch this page for updates.

REMOTE LEARNING OPTIONS: Have you considered our webinar programs? There's also web-based training HERE, with a new PROFIsafe module just added.

KUEBLER GROUP OPENS US SUBSIDIARY: Kuebler Inc., the newest member of the Kuebler Group, is open for business. Located in Charlotte, NC, the aim is "to provide our North American customers with the enhanced level of service they deserve," says the company. The Kuebler Group specializes in position and motion sensors, counting, process technology and transmission technology. The strategy is to continue as an independent, owner-managed family business. KEUBLER.

THE OFFICE AND THE FACTORY ... EXACTLY DIFFERENT: So says Carl Henning in his latest PROFIblog, "and especially when it comes to networking". For IT folks who are used to the office environment, the factory is a shock. PROFINET will work just fine with an inexpensive Ethernet switch and wireless access point from Best Buy, but how long will they last in the factory? Carl's colleague Michael Bowne - it's his arm and voice in the MinutePROFINET videos - is now posting regularly too. Customers in Oil & Gas are looking to PROFINET as their network of choice today because of benefits such as powerful diagnostics that allow the up-, mid-, and downstream sectors to quickly troubleshoot issues. FOLLOW PROFIblog HERE.

SAFETY MINUTE: The latest film in the MinutePROFINET series covers the key topic of Functional Safety and PROFINET. Michael Bowne's latest production gives a rapid, easy, introduction to the subject. It's one of the deepest topics in automation, he says, "but we felt it important to give it the Minute treatment." Watch this video several times, is his advice, and then seek expert guidance. Try also our PROFIsafe webinar.

NEW FACEBOOK PAGE: PI North America's new Facebook page HERE is beginning to make an impact. Are you connected yet?

NO MORE NIGHTMARES! PI's popular video series called PROFIBUS Dialogues, featuring The Old Man and the Youngster, has a new film on Explosion Prevention. This was a recurring nightmare for the Old Man in his day apparently. The Youngster extols the virtues of the latest FISCO specifications and says no one need suffer from nightmares today.  VIEW THE FILM HERE.

ITALY: Engineers, installers, system integrators and experts in industrial communication will be meeting at the next PROFIBUS and PROFINET Day in Padua in October. Karsten Schneider, Chairman of PI, and Steffen Ochsenreither, leader of PI's Marketing Process Automation Working Group, will be speakers. ITALY. Also LinkedIn.

AUSTRALIA: The PROFIBUS and PROFINET Association of Australia also welcomes Karsten Schneider in October, to its series of PROFINET and PROFIBUS Business Luncheons. AUSTRALIA. To reserve a seat: Andrew Dummett (+61 2 9555 7899).

FRANCE: France PROFIBUS-PROFINET is organizing several Technical Days in the Fall. One is at the site of the Synchrotron SOLEIL Particle Accelerator and Research Center. More information from FRANCE .

CHINA: In August, PI-China organized a one day PROFINET Product Development Workshop in Beijing, geared towards developers and product managers which attracted more than 70 attendees. The ITEI PI test lab has undergone accreditation tests to confirm that it can provide PROFINET interoperability and conformance testing for device manufacturers in China. CHINA

BRAZIL: The Brazil PROFIBUS Association Meeting in August included a PROFIBUS/PROFINET Integrators event aiming to discuss with product suppliers, service providers (integrators and engineering), and end-users issues related to network validation and the identification of key problems. A similar event was held in September. BRAZIL.

ENCODERS HAVE PROFINET INTERFACE: Sendix 5858 / 5878 (Singleturn) and Sendix 5868 / 5888 (Multiturn) encoders conform to the PROFINET Profile Encoder Version 4.1 as well as Identification & Maintenance Functionality, Version 1.16. They also support Isochronous Real-Time (IRT) and are therefore ideal for real-time applications. FAST START UP (FSU) is also incorporated. The resolution for the singleturn devices is up to 16 bits and for multiturn devices up to 28 bits. KUEBLER.


NEW SEGMENT PROTECTOR FOR PROFIBUS PA: This new device incorporates advanced fault isolation, selectable short-circuit limit, and physical layer diagnostics. It also handles alarms from accessories. Other functions include LED termination indication, power communication and spur faults. "It's the most compact housing for 10 spurs," says the company.  PEPPERL+FUCHS.


PROFINET DIAGNOSTIC TOOL: Netilities supports PROFINET engineering and troubleshooting tasks. It generates a live list of the network and to provide an overview of network condition and reliability. Info fields inform about network problems, while statistics provide an overview of cycle times, corrupted telegrams, data size, etc. Netilities can also set device names and IP addresses. PROCENTEC.


MORE POWERFUL, MORE COMPACT CPUs: CPUs 315T, 317T und 317TF are now available. They are spare part-compatible and include an extra PROFINET port with an integrated 2-port-switch. The width is reduced to 120mm and performance is enhanced by up to 8 times! CPU315T-3 PN/DP, CPU317T-3 PN/DP and CPU317TF-3 PN/DP are configured with STEP7 V5.5 SP2 or higher and Service Pack S7-Technology V4.2 SP3. SIEMENS.

ARE YOU READY TO 'GO MOBILE ' WITH PROFINEWS? APP COMING SOON: Launching at SPS/IPC/Drives, Nov 26th-28th, 2013 Nuremberg, Germany.

Watch press for 'GO MOBILE' banners and our early warning landing page.

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