Discrete manufacturing is not the only sector where PROFIBUS and PROFINET have found widespread acceptance as automation backbones. While currently undergoing rapid growth, the Oil and Gas market is one where the use of PROFIBUS has a long history and is well known. It is found in all phases of the petroleum industry.
- In upstream activities: PROFIBUS DP and PROFIBUS PA are widely used on the drilling rigs in the extraction and production phase.
- In midstream activities: With pipelines becoming the preferred method to transport crude oil, fieldbuses are being used to control this flow to the refineries.
- In downstream activities: A refinery is the classic process-automation example, and since these are usually hazardous or explosive environments, PROFIBUS PA is the ideal fit.
Nowadays, customers in Oil & Gas are looking to PROFINET as their network of choice because of the benefits in enables. The very fast cycle times found in PROFINET might not be as beneficial to this industry as say, the powerful diagnostics. The comprehensive diagnostic capabilities of PROFINET allow customers in the up-, mid-, and downstream sectors to quickly troubleshoot issues.
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They can even perform preventative maintenance to increase uptime. For example, creating redundant systems with PROFINET is incredibly easy.
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You can read an application story about the deployment of PROFINET in the upstream activities of Precision Drilling Corp. When Precision Drilling was looking to future-proof their drilling equipment, they chose PROFINET as their Industrial Ethernet standard for these and other reasons. They cited a few key abilities as differentiators:
- Real-time monitoring
- Remote troubleshooting
- Scalable network infrastructure
- Ease of implementation
— Michael Bowne