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Wang, Haibin, Executive Chairman of PI-China wishes you a "Happy Chinese New Year"
A report from the recent ARC Forum, where PROFINET featured prominently
A report on first 2014 sessions, plus a table of 2014 venues
There are lots of opportunities in 2014 to "get certified"
Both Android and iOS versions now have image caching and Retina fonts, plus active Twitter feeds
Drive technology is undergoing a wave of innovation, writes Peter Wenzel
First version code is now available online for FREE!
Why a star-wired grounding system caused a prototype PROFIBUS drives network to keep failing
A major hydro-junction in the center of China is using an advanced control system
Both PROFIBUS and PROFINET have brought major benefits
A Flood Defence System in Kent, England has been upgraded with PROFIBUS
A PROFIdrive workshop; a motion Fair and a new Competence Center
An embedded drives solution; a "unique" PROFIBUS training device; multiple temperature inputs for PROFIBUS PA

HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM CHINA: Ladies and gentlemen: Happy Chinese New Year and welcome to PROFINEWS. I am honored to give this introduction on behalf of PI-China. As the China RPA (Regional PI Association), PI-China seeks to set up a neutral platform, serving the technical needs of local equipment manufacturers and end users, as well as academic institutes and universities, promoting PROFIBUS and PROFINET technology applications on the Chinese market.

PI-China has made significant progress in the past 3 years. We are happy to see that more and more Chinese customers show great interest in PROFIBUS and PROFINET, and take efforts to incorporate the technologies into their products. Starting with only 21 members three years ago, PI-China has quickly expanded to 91 members now, among which there are many famous names, including equipment manufacturers, end users and universities. And I am proud to say that all PI-China members have contributed significantly to the success of PROFIBUS and PROFINET in China.

The past year of 2013 was very fruitful. PI-China attended the two most influential industrial fairs - SIAF 2013 in Guangzhou, and CIIF 2013 in Shanghai. In addition, we held technical workshops and seminars for a variety of customers in a number of Chinese cities, e.g., Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing etc. A paper campaign on PROFINET technology was successfully implemented in 2013, and the result was promising for PROFIBUS and PROFINET in China. PROFIBUS is already highly accepted by the market; meanwhile PROFINET applications have increased quickly.

Another noticeable achievement of PI-China in recent years concerns standardization - a number of PI technical specifications and standards have been or will be equivalently adopted as Chinese national standards GB/T by SAC/TC124 (the mirror of IEC TC65 in China), including PROFIBUS DP, PROFIBUS PA, PROFINET IO, PROFIsafe, and PROFIdrive, and this formulates a relative complete framework for industrial field bus technology in the Chinese standards system.

In addition, PI-China has set up a number of Competence Centers in China, focusing on PROFIBUS DP/PA, PROFINET IO, PROFIdrive and PROFIsafe. We also have 2 PROFIBUS DP/PA test labs and one PROFIdrive test lab. It's very gratifying to see that our PROFINET test lab obtained authorization from PI in Oct 2013, because this significantly reduces the R&D cost and time for local device manufacturers who can now obtain conformance and mutual operational tests and certificates domestically. Our local competence centers and test labs have also strengthened the confidence of customers that they can obtain the best quality services locally when choosing to use PROFIBUS and PROFINET.

In the year 2014, PI-China will take proactive measures to promote PROFINET in the Chinese market. In particular, PI-China will again hold PROFINET technical workshops in Guangzhou, Beijing, Shanghai, and other Chinese locations, and interested customers are very much welcome. For further details, please contact the PI-China secretariat.

Ladies and gentlemen, again I would like to use this opportunity to express my sincere best wishes to all of you on behalf of PI-China. It is in no doubt that we have a very promising marketing future for PROFINET. Please let's work together, and devote ourselves to realize our dream. Happy Chinese New Year to you and your families. Thank you.

WANG, Haibin
Executive Chairman, PI-China

PROFINET AT THE ARC FORUM: One hundred attendees of the ARC Forum in Orlando stayed for the last morning's sessions on PROFINET (despite weather-inflicted travel woes). The session expanded on ARC's theme by showing how PROFINET enables the information driven enterprise. Three PI North America Board members described their focus on PROFINET. They were introduced by Michael Bryant, executive director of PI North America who hosted the two sessions.

Raj Batra, president of the Industry Automation Division at Siemens Industry, Inc., showed how PROFINET provides efficiency, performance, and flexibility in sustaining industrial automation products. He used an example from the automotive industry, setting the stage for the next speaker. Mike Bastian, controls manager for Ford's Global Powertrain group, described their reliance on PROFINET to stretch from IO to the enterprise, perfectly mirroring the session's theme. David Greenfield, editor-in-chief of Automation World wrote extensively about Mike Bastian's presentation in “Ford's Focus on Control.” Finally, Bernie Anger, General Manager at GE Intelligent Platforms, described how GE Intelligent Platforms leverages PROFINET as their Industrial Ethernet backbone. It's an integral link between IO and the cloud.

System integrator, ICR Engineering's David Loveridge told why the network matters; namely, that PROFINET allows the move from proprietary networks to an open, multi-vendor architecture. He then described the characteristics they used to settle on PROFINET, finding it provided better determinism, lower jitter, reliable redundancy, and available functional safety.

Michael Rothwell, Director of Control and Industry Solutions at Phoenix Contact, focused on PROFINET and the Internet of Things (IoT). He noted that the Manufacturing Renaissance in North America required data and connectivity down to the device level. And more data at the device level means efficient, reliable PROFINET-based communications will continue to be essential.

Chris Muench, the CEO of C-Labs, explained how PROFINET has been extended to and integrated with the Internet of Things. He emphasized the need for secure communications and how that empowered remote maintenance workers.

After the morning break, David Greenfield moderated a panel discussion on PROFINET. Panelists included Sam Hoff of Patti Engineering, Dave Heyman of Kuka Assembly & Test, David Loveridge of ICR Engineering, and Peter Karcz of Fori Automation. Topics included safety, security, wireless, and diagnostics. David Greenfield has reported on the latter topic in “Industrial Ethernet: Diagnostics.”

The session concluded with a presentation on process and discrete synergies by Raimund Sommer, Managing Director, Endress+Hauser Process Solutions AG. His wide-ranging presentation covered where fieldbuses are used today and what it will take for Industrial Ethernet to supplant them.

ONE DAY TRAINING CLASSES: February 4 marked the kickoff of our 2014 one-day training classes with the San Diego class. Everything went pretty smoothly considering we have a new approach this year. We jump right into the “How do I” sections after a short introduction. Some of those sections include a behind the scenes look at how PROFINET does that. That information is not needed to use PROFINET, but I think it helps to understand how to apply it. Almost all the sections include a new example of how someone used PROFINET. Some of these are presented in detail on our website. We also do live demos in many of the sections, although we have some video demos, too.

Three weeks ago we were in Birmingham for the second one-day training class. After that we reviewed our new machine-scored Course Evaluations in a blog post: “PROFINET Classes, Quantitatively Speaking.” Highlight: everyone thought the course was ‘good' or outstanding.'

We've been surprised that the classes have been better attended than we expected. In fact, last week's Houston class was a record-breaker. We had to close registration weeks before the class. Moral of the story: register early. We've added a seventeenth class for 2014: Vancouver on July 29.

City Date
Dayton 4/2/2014
Boston 4/16/14
Kansas City 4/30/14
Milwaukee 5/15/14
Cleveland 6/5/14
Philadelphia 6/19/14
Vancouver 7/29/14
Nashville 9/9/14
Las Vegas 10/9/14
Detroit 10/23/14
Portland 11/4/14
Salt Lake City 11/18/14
San Jose 12/4/14

CERTIFIED NETWORK ENGINEER TRAINING: Join one of our week-long Certified Engineer classes ... they're all listed below. Delegates who pass the tests achieve "Certified Engineer" status and are officially listed on the PI website. For details, click on the start dates below. Attendances have been peaking recently and you are recommended to book early.

  March 24 May 12
June 9 August 11 June 16*
September 15   November 3
December 8    

Classes are held in Johnson City, TN, unless asterisked (in Peterborough, ON.) Onsite classes can be arranged. Contact

PROFINEWS APP UPDATED: Both Android and iOS versions now have image caching and Retina fonts, and incoming Twitter feeds are fully interactive so posting from the app is now possible (you need a Twitter account to do this of course.)  Performance has been upgraded so most users will see speed improvements and 'phablets' (Galaxy S4, Note 3 etc.) now work satisfactorily. Visit to find out where to get the app. It's free; it has longer articles, larger pictures and slide shows; it has embedded videos, plus a host of great features that can be read on smart phones and tablets, anywhere, anytime. Download it now and join the mobile PI community!

DRIVES: THE ENGINE OF INNOVATION: Drive technology in the automation industry is undergoing a remarkable wave of innovation, writes Peter Wenzel (left), Managing Director of PNO in Germany. The market is demanding intelligent drives that contribute to solving many challenges. Drive technology is a basic requirement for every modern production plant. But something deeper is happening too, as safety and energy management become important. Functions such as Safe Limited Speed, Safe Torque Off, and switch-off during operation pauses to lower energy use are now involved. PI has a solution for these functions in its PROFIsafe and PROFIenergy profiles. By combining these with PROFIdrive, the drive becomes a platform for advanced functionality and the once-simple fieldbus interface becomes a multi-functional communication node. Many PI member companies offer support for developing PROFIdrive products. There's also an Open Source option. It's maintained by the Industrial NetWorx Community (see also story below).

Extracted from : an article titled "Drives: The Engine for Innovation in Process and Factory Automation," published in full in the PROFINEWS app.  Get the app here

Other Resources :

OPEN SOURCE CONTROLLER CODE FOR PROFIdrive: As we went to press, PROFIdrive Working Group Leader Heiko Hack (left) of Siemens confirmed that first version code for an Open Source PROFIdrive Controller application is now available through the  PROFIdrive Community Project. First Version Code for drives in Application Class 1 is already supported, with additions expected by mid-year. The extension for Application Classes 3 and 4 will be released subsequently. A test tool (PROFIdrive Profile tester) has recently been added to help vendors prepare products for certification.  Yuriy Zavgorodniy, Software Manager of Hilscher (who hosts the Project's web site under the industrialNETworX open source initiative) told PROFINEWS that he would like to see the range of "ready to run" PROFIdrive code extended, with Encoders and PROFIenergy integration being among the goals. The PROFIdrive Community Project was established in 2011 to ease the deployment of PROFIdrive for vendors. The site includes self-help forums and much support material. A number of successful products are known to have resulted, most notably from Jenny Science AG (read the press release HERE). The Community Project is supported by Hilscher, Softing, Siemens (with Renesas), KW-Software (with Renesas), Mesco Engineering, and HMS Industrial Networks. Community Project source code is ready-to-run, and is available free and un-licensed. PROFIdrive Community Project

STAR-WIRED NETWORK LED TO GROUNDING FAULTS: Prof. Max Felser of the PROFIBUS Competence and Training Center at the Bern University of Applied Sciences explains why a star-wired grounding system caused a prototype PROFIBUS drives network to keep failing.

Problem/challenge: A manufacturer had built a prototype machine using PROFIBUS. When running, the machine would work OK for around half an hour but would keep stopping because of PROFIBUS network errors.

Analysis: Having a look at the cabinet we see that it is cabled as described in a schoolbook: make the grounding in a star! So the integrator has mounted all rails and frequency converters on isolating bolts, and wires the ground with 2.5 mm2 cables to one central grounding point in the cabinet. The installation runs fine, but there is a considerable current flowing in these ground wires and this leads to voltage differences between the different devices inside the cabinet. As soon as the drives are running under load, the voltage differences get too high and the PROFIBUS network collapses.

Solution: Mount all devices and also the frequency converters directly to the metallic backplane of the cabinet and use that as the “central grounding” point. A similar cabinet installed in this way by a different installer runs perfectly, even with much larger drives!

Where you can get more help: Our PROFIBUS Competence and Training Center at the Bern University of Applied Sciences offers support in solving these and many other challenges in the field. You can find this guideline and other useful information in my “PROFIBUS Manual”, which can be DOWNLOADED HERE

PI Competence Centers, Training Centers and Test Labs can be found in all regions of the world. They provide a wide range of support services for PROFIBUS and PROFINET applications. There's a full listing HERE

PROFINET CONTROLS NAVIGATION LOCK: The Xiangjiang hydro-junction located in the center of China contributes to shipping, water supply, flood control, livability and travel in that area. Its navigation lock is the first duplex lock capable of handling 2000 tons of shipping each way, and the lock gates are the largest in all of China's inland rivers, measuring 20m high, 20m wide and weighing 300 tons. The control system has to work in a very hostile environment. It is responsible for local control and supervisory control, remote control, system diagnosis, data transmission and so on. Eight lock gates are located in up-river and down-river ends of the lock, and each gate has its own control cabinet. All the control cabinets are linked to the control center for centralized management. Besides control data, a large amount of video monitoring data from cameras beside the river must be transferred and the whole system must work in real time with high reliability and flexibility. After comparisons with two fieldbus solutions, a PROFINET system was chosen by the customer, with PROFINET PLC, PROFINET IO, PROFINET switches and so on. A redundant PROFINET PLC located in each control room controls locally through a PROFINET IO station. A 3km redundant fiber connection links the PLC pairs. Each redundant PLC is linked via PROFINET fiber too. The PROFINET control system has been running for more than a year, contributing a new control concept for the hydro-junction industry in China. PHOENIX CONTACT

PROFINET BRINGS "NOTICEABLE BENEFITS" AT HYDRO-POWER STATION: Guangdong Qingyuan hydro-power station is among the largest stations of its type in China. The control system uses a redundant structure and is based on a SIMATIC S7-414-5H CPU as the master controller, with both PROFIBUS and PROFINET used for communications. By adopting PROFINET the customer was able to save a significant amount of cost by reducing the equipment that was needed. The S7-414-5H has a very fast cycle time, while the fast data transmission rate of PROFINET ensures reliable, real time communication. Currently, the whole system is running well. PROFINET brings noticeable benefits, not only because of the increased data transmission rate of 100M bps, but also because the installation of PROFINET equipment is very convenient. In addition, the diagnostics capability and PROFINET tools make the onsite commissioning task very efficient.  SIEMENS

PROFIBUS HELPS WITH UK FLOOD CONTROL: Two concrete towers stand 20 meters above the ground at the UK Environment Agency's Dartford Barrier Flood Defence System in Kent, England. The barrier is routinely closed in conjunction with the bigger Thames Barrier upstream to prevent high tide water in the River Thames flowing back up the creek and flooding Dartford and the surrounding area.

Two steel gates each 30-metre across and weighing over 160 tons each, are suspended between the towers and are lowered onto the river bed to block the flow of water. Together they can hold back 10.4 meters of water. The drive system comprises two 18.5kW pump and motor units. It is envisaged that the barrier may need to operate an average of 50 times per annum over the next 25 years. “The system has to be highly available with many fallback systems in case of failures,” said Andrew Garwood, a Senior Contracts Manager in the Controls Division of Qualter Hall & Co Limited, Barnsley.

Much of the equipment the control system spoke to was PROFIBUS- or Siemens-based. Two PROFIBUS Master communication modules (MVI56-PDPMV1) from ProSoft Technology were installed inside ControlLogix PACs to facilitate communications. “The ProSoft Technology modules were utilized to provide PROFIBUS DP into the ControlLogix rack and permitted four separate PROFIBUS DP segments for redundant operation,” Garwood said.

Fiber optic cables were installed between the two towers during the overhaul. ProSoft Technology 802.11 Industrial Hotspot radios served as the fallback link. ProSoft Technology's solutions helped ease the engineering work by making it possible for the ControlLogix system to communicate over a single protocol. The system allows data to be reviewed quickly, centrally and remotely, providing convenience when accessing diagnostic information. Thousands of homes and businesses are now safely protected. PROSOFT TECHNOLOGY  

This is an edited extract from a larger article in the PROFINEWS App.

GERMANY: PI is holding a technology workshop called “Drives and Motion with PROFINET” on June 4, 2014 in Frankfurt. It's conducted in German. You can register HERE

ITALY: In March, the Italian Regional PI Association Consorzio PNI will take part in MC4, the main exhibition in Italy dedicated to technologies and products for Motion Control in automation. MORE DETAILS HERE

POLAND: SIMLOGIC has become the second Polish company to be accredited as a PI Competence Center. It specializes in PROFIdrive and PROFIsafe. The first PI Competence Center in Poland was INTEX.  POLAND

IMPLEMENTING DRIVES: AN EMBEDDED SOLUTION: Anybus CompactCom 40-series is a versatile, modular solution for connecting drives to PROFIBUS and PROFINET. It enables very fast communication between the host device and PROFINET IRT, which is especially important for drives with high performance demands. Anybus CompactCom supports PROFINET RT Class 1 and 3 and comes with a PROFINET IRT Ethernet switch, plus PROFIenergy, Media Redundancy Protocol, Synchronization and Fast Start Up. HMS INDUSTRIAL NETWORKS

Extracted from an article entitled "Anybus CompactCom: Multi-network Connectivity for Drives," published in full in the PROFINEWS app.  Get the app here.

"UNIQUE" PROFIBUS TRAINING DEVICE: SIO4DP is claimed to be the first dedicated PROFIBUS training device. It's a simple PROFIBUS slave with 4 bits input and 4 bits output and its unique feature is that it emulates bus failures and I/O patterns. It can also generate a bus fault by physically removing itself from PROFIBUS after a certain time. The SIO4DP could be used for certified PROFIBUS Engineer training, PROFIBUS troubleshooting training, training kits and demo setups. It is a fully-functional I/O module and can also be used in real factory applications.  It fits perfectly with tools like ProfiTrace and is ideal for educational and testing environments says PROCENTEC because it allows engineers to practice off-line so they can act more appropriately when a real bus fault occurs. Special purchase prices are available for education and training centers.  PROCENTEC

MULTIPLE TEMPERATURE INTPUTS FOR PROFIBUS PA: FieldConnex Temperature Multi-Input (TM-I) modules are now available for PROFIBUS PA. TM-1 enables analog input and output signals to be connected to the fieldbus with the highest level of efficiency, in a manner that is intrinsically safe, convenient, and with minimal wiring costs. TM-I enables up to eight analog temperature signals to be connected, covering thermocouples and millivolt signals, and 2-, 3-, and 4-wire resistance temperature sensors (RTDs). All inputs are intrinsically safe, even if the fieldbus connection is not. The device is mounted in the immediate vicinity of the sensors in hazardous areas, saving significantly on wiring. Inputs are quick and easy to configure collectively or individually. A GSD file and a DTM are available for download.  PEPPERL+FUCHS

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