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Members meet in Scottsdale to discuss all things PROFIBUS and PROFINET
App-based interactive magazine launches in November
A diagnostic tool eliminates random errors from a production line
Diagnostic capabilities ensure high availability at particle research facility
Another useful tip for optimizing PROFIBUS installations
Three chances left in 2013 to boost your career potential
The headline says it all ... and there's still time to join a class this year
Instrument company grows in North America while Chile PICC extends its influence
Tweeting grows in popularity as a new PROFIBUS Dialogues film is unveiled.
An Australian PROFIBUS/PROFINET Fair, a German workshop and plant compliance test scheme
Testers, Switches, Gateways, Boards and a DC UPS

NORTH AMERICA GENERAL ASSEMBLY MEETING: PI North America's General Assembly Meeting (GAM) took place in Scottsdale, AZ at the end of September. That's Executive Director Michael Bryant (left) making his opening address. The meeting was attended by over 60 delegates, who were treated to a day and a half of presentations ranging from financial and marketing reports to technical updates. Four North American members (Phoenix Contact, Endress+Hauser, GE Intelligent Platforms and Siemens) explained the importance of PROFIBUS and PROFINET in their decision to be represented on the Board of PI North America. PROFI Interface Center (PIC) staff described latest developments in the testing of PROFINET devices, in particular the new Net Load test which has been made mandatory. PI Chairman Karsten Schneider said this was related to a rapidly increasing emphasis on network security that will roll out over coming months. A hot topic was Integrated Diagnostics, with the PIC's Hunter Harrington receiving top feedback points for his detailed presentation on the advanced capabilities of PROFINET. Of course, these build on PROFIBUS diagnostics but add the leveraging of SNMP and LLDP for network diagnosis. Hunter presented this in the context of a project lifecycle with more than a hint of Star Trek thrown in. He also looked ahead to the results of ongoing work. The big news is the work being done to provide an integrated diagnostic environment covering process applications and PROFIenergy. In the meantime, next month will see the release of Diagnosis for PROFINET IO – Guideline for PROFINET (available in draft form now for PI members). Its intended audience is makers of PROFINET devices and software. On Day 2, end-user presentations included one from ABB's Tyrgve Harvei (above left) about PROFINET on North Sea Oil/Gas platforms where it's used widely, often in conjunction with IEC 61850. An entertaining talk by Herman Humphrey (right) of spirits producer Beam Inc (yes, Jim Beam is one of their products) nicely rounded things off. Beam is one of the top distillers in the world and Humphrey described his introduction of PROFIBUS to the company's Old Grand Dad plant in Kentucky together with the benefits it brought.

Media Flash: Carl Henning's blogged on the event HERE and Dave Greenfield of Automation World wrote a nice article HERE. Control Engineering added their unique touch HERE.

PROFINEWS GOES MOBILE: A year-long project to create an international PROFINEWS App for mobile devices is nearing completion. The app will enable anyone in the world to read PROFINEWS on IOS and Android tablets and smartphones. It will be launched at the SPS/IPC/Drives Fair in Nuremberg on November 26th and will be available for free download. Editor Geoff Hodgkinson (right), who's been leading the project, said: "Speaking as a journalist and publisher, this is one of the most exciting PI projects I've ever been involved with because it places PROFINEWS literally back in the hands of readers. We're emphasizing the "touch" benefits of mobile devices to give an interactive reading experience. Together with upgraded editorial content - you may have noticed this in recent issues - this has led us to a magazine-style publication that I believe will substantially raise the profile of PROFIBUS and PROFINET across the world."  Content will be updated continuously, allowing users to read the latest news "anytime, anywhere."  The web-based PROFINEWS North America (i.e. the one you are reading now) will continue to be published monthly, with email "alerts" as normal. "We think our app-based PROFINEWS is a "first" in automation," added Hodgkinson. "Once again PI is ahead of the rest!"  A "Go Mobile with PROFINEWS" promotional campaign has begun and you can watch this landing page for updates. Geoff is now tweeting progress @profinewseditor.

TROUBLESHOOTING PROFIBUS: N.R. Spuntech Industries makes non-woven textiles, specifically the spunlace fabric used in the medical, construction, and agricultural industries as well as in consumer products. The company runs three production facilities: two in Galilee, Israel and one - its newest – in Roxboro, North Carolina. This 20,000 square meter facility houses a state-of-the-art production line that transforms raw fibers into rolls of finished fabrics via a series of operations including opening, cording, drying, and packaging.  The plant's PROFIBUS network links seven PLCs having approximately 350 nodes. Paul Hall, Process Control and IT Manager had been encountering random and intermittent faults, forcing production to stop sometimes for hours. Trebing + Himstedt's TH LINK (hardware that provides a central network access point) and TH SCOPE (diagnostics software) were called in to determine the cause. TH LINK offers OPC compatibility right out of the box and this allowed Hall to tie TH LINK directly into his SCADA, enabling technicians and operators to centralize their tasks and activities on one system. Within the first week Hall was able to isolate and solve a critical problem. Diagnosis was fast, accurate, and detailed, he says, and there has not been related downtime since.  Future plans include using TH LINK and TH SCOPE to not only monitor in real-time but to also help identify and highlight predictive trends, enabling more proactive management of plant assets.   TREBING + HIMSTEDT.

PROFIBUS AT 2 DEGREES KELVIN: The Deutscher Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY, a national research center in Germany which operates particle accelerators used to investigate the structure of matter, has relied on PROFIBUS DP and PA for many years to control and monitor its control and instrumentation systems. Particular challenging are the cryogenic systems where superfluid helium II cools the cavity resonators and magnets down to 2 degrees Kelvin. The cryogenic system is currently being converted for the new XFEL accelerator and its test facility (AMTF). The XFEL will operate 24/7 and be controlled via EPICS (Experimental Physics and Industrial Control System), which communicates with its I/O via PROFIBUS DP. Valves, pressure transmitters and flow transmitters are networked with PROFIBUS PA. All parts of the system are connected to the control system via Ethernet. Components such as the power supply and segment coupler, the optical link module and fiber optics (double ring) are redundant. The physical layer is self-monitoring. The use of PROFIBUS DP and PA has proven itself in many ways: simple system planning without the use of special tools; straightforward documentation; and simple installation and commissioning. A further benefit is the diagnostic capabilities, which assist in early fault finding to ensure maximum availability.   PEPPERL+FUCHS.


I have heard of the High Powered Trunk Concept for wiring field instruments into hazardous locations. However, I could also use Intrinsically Safe (IS) direct from the control room out into the hazardous locations using Ex couplers. What is the difference and which one should I choose?"

The High Powered Trunk Concept uses a DP/PA coupler that can provide high power to a main PROFIBUS PA trunk, which will have special junction boxes with built-in barriers for the spur lines going out into the field. The special junction boxes need to be either in the safe area or in Zone 1 (depending on type of junction box); then, because of the barriers, the spur lines are ‘safe' going out to the hazardous location (Zone 0). This lets you put the maximum number of devices on each DP/PA coupler. Another method is to use a DP/PA Ex coupler, which has a barrier built into it that limits the power going out to the field to 110 mA or less (depending on the manufacturer). This limits the number of devices you have on each coupler.

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


"GO MOBILE" WITH PROFINEWS! App to be launched at SPS/IPC/Drives Fair November 26th. Watch this page for details.

BE A CERTIFIED PROFIBUS/PROFINET ENGINEER: Nothing is guaranteed to boost your career profile more than becoming a certified engineer in PROFIBUS and/or PROFINET technologies. There are a few more opportunities in 2013. The class schedule is here and a list of upcoming events follows:

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:

1200 ATTENDED OUR TRAINING CLASSES IN 2013: Our countrywide training tour program for 2013 is nearing its end. 12 PROFINET classes and 8 PROFIBUS classes have been held and the average attendance has been 65. That's a total of 1200 people we've introduced to our two technologies in just 12 months.

NEWS FLASH: The Detroit PROFINET class had a near-record 166 attendees.  Here are the "night before" and "actual event" pictures, to give you some idea of what that means.

And there's still three more chances to join a class. Here are the remaining dates:


Michael Bowne
Ron Mitchell

Carl Henning
Torsten Paulsen

Nov Baton Rouge, LA Nov 19th Louisville, KY Nov 5th
Dec   Orlando, FL Dec 12th
  Watch this page for updates.
  • Visit our training class page
  • Classes count towards Professional Development Hours.
  • Download the class agenda for PROFINET
  • Download the class agenda for PROFIBUS
  • REMOTE LEARNING: Have you considered our webinar programs?
  • There's also web-based training HERE, with a new PROFIsafe module just added.

US PRODUCTION EXPANDS: Switzerland-based Endress+Hauser is set to serve its customers in North and South America with more US-sourced products. The Swiss specialist for measurement engineering and process automation has invested over 40 million dollars in expanding its plants for flow, level and pressure measurement manufacturing. Producing, assembling and calibrating at sites throughout the world is one of Endress+Hauser's central business strategies. “We want to move our production as close as possible to customers,” stressed Klaus Endress, CEO of the Endress+Hauser Group, during the inauguration ceremony for two new buildings in Greenwood, Indiana. “Being close allows us to respond quickly to the special needs and requirements of markets and customers.” The company's flow engineering plant in Greenwood has created nearly 95,000 square feet of additional space. The plant for level and pressure engineering moves into a new building with more than 105,000 square feet of ground area directly next door. “After years of strong growth, this will make us fit for the future,” says Managing Director John Schnake (above right). The vacated space will allow for a new visitor and training center. More than 80 percent of the measurement instruments delivered in the USA today are now made in the USA. Endress+Hauser has had its own sales center in the United States since 1970. ENDRESS+HAUSER.

Pictured above right are : (left to right) Klaus Endress, CEO of the Endress+Hauser Group; Mayor Mark Myers, City of Greenwood; John Schnake, General Manager, Endress+Hauser (USA) Automation Instrumentation Inc.

CHILE MEMBER CERTIFIES 100th ENGINEER: RP Ingeniería from Chile - a PI North America member - is the first PI Spanish Language Competence Center and Training Center in South America. Located in Concepción, in the south of Chile, RP undertakes activities across the country. Recently, the PITC accredited its 100th Certified PROFIBUS Installer. CEO Rodrigo Pinto (above, right) said: “We are very happy with the response of customers regarding our certification programs. This number of certified installers is a great success for us. Engineers can get the most from their PROFIBUS installations by attending our courses, and our class is designed not only to fulfill PI Learning Outcomes but also the needs of Chilean and Latin American industries. We get attendees from Bolivia, Uruguay and Perú who apply their knowledge to design, maintenance and network troubleshooting. Feedback has been very good.” RP Ingeniería also holds its own automation training courses offering skills-based and customer-specific classes to achieve optimum results. RP Ingeniería.

MORE TWEETS: @AllThingsPROFINET continues to gather fans across the automation spectrum while PROFINEWS North America Editor Geoff Hodgkinson has begun tweeting @profinewseditor in the run up to the launch of the PROFINEWS app in November.

FOLLOW THE BEAST!: Ever been in a control room in Alaska and had to go out and face wild beasts to fix something? If so, this short video will entertain you! It's the latest in the PROFIBUS Dialogues series and it explains how the Life Cycle Management and I & M Functionality of PROFIBUS lets you stay safe and warm in the control room when things go wrong.

BLOG GROUNDED: Carl Henning, in a recent PROFIblog, wrote: "In polite company we try not to speak about religion, politics or grounding. In our training classes we successfully avoid the first two. For PROFIBUS and for PROFINET the official PI recommendation is to ground shielded cable at both ends and at any intermediate points." However, the religious fervor of some single-point grounding advocates precludes that apparently. READ WHY HERE. And follow PROFIblog here.

SWEDEN: The Swedish Regional PI Association is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. In a nice "welcome" lead article in the current International PROFINEWS, Chairman Lars Larsson describes how rockets and mines have enabled Sweden to lead the PI world ... that and the country's inherent love of innovation. SWEDEN.

AUSTRALIA: The PROFIBUS Association of Australia (PAA) will conduct a PROFINET and PROFIBUS EXPO in Brisbane in November, combining a Technical Exhibition and a Forum on the theme "One technology for all". A "Fieldbus Forum" will be a highlight, with nine experts from the world's most popular communication protocols in process and factory automation participating in a round-table discussion. "Let's emphasize PROFINET too!" says Falk Hohmann, who recently joined Siemens' factory automation team in Australia. At the EXPO he'll be demonstrating PROFINET. Watch him explaining it here.  AUSTRALIA.

GERMANY: A PROFINET Technology Workshop will be held on November 7th in Karlsruhe, Germany aimed at developers and product managers. It's free of charge but you need to know that it will be held in German. INFORMATION AND REGISTRATION.

ITALY: CSMT Gestione Scarl, the first PROFIBUS and PROFINET Competence Center in Italy, has developed a plant validation service for PROFIBUS and PROFINET. CSMT.

HIGH PERFORMANCE PROFINET TESTER: The new TH LINK tester for PROFINET makes diagnostic information available quickly even in heavily populated networks. It can simultaneously monitor different address ranges and common network structures, even with multiple controllers. Automation and office IT are separated for maximum security. TREBING+HIMSTEDT.


PROFINET SWITCH: Moxa has announced a series of PROFINET-enabled managed switches for industrial PLC network applications. Users can directly integrate and manage the switches in existing SCADA systems. Fast network recovery (under 20ms at a 250-switch load) and 10s boot time ensures high network availability. MOXA.


BRIDGING PROFIBUS/PROFINET, WITH IT TOOLS: Moxa has announced the release of MGate 5102-PBM-PN  PROFIBUS-to-PROFINET gateways, which not only bridge PROFIBUS devices (PROFIBUS drives or meters) to PROFINET masters (SCADA or Siemens PLCs) but also leverage IT management tools. MOXA.


CompactPCI PROFIBUS: This board is able to execute PROFIBUS applications under extremely tough industrial conditions and is designed to implement PC-based Master or Slave configurations. The possibility to configure it in a redundant master system makes it a perfect fit for high-availability applications. SOFTING.


INTEGRATED AND UNINTERRUPTIBLE: Sitop UPS1600 is a DC uninterruptible power supply with Ethernet interfaces. It can be integrated into an Ethernet network or via PROFINET into a TIA (Totally Integrated Automation) environment. Standardized function blocks make integration easy and ready-made WinCC faceplates provide visualizations for Simatic panels or industrial PCs. Battery management selects the optimum temperature-controlled charging characteristics and constantly monitors the charging condition and battery life. SIEMENS.

App to be launched at SPS/IPC/Drives Fair November 26th.
Watch this page for details.

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