In order for your product or technology to succeed you have to be able to “check the right boxes.” PROFINET checks all the right boxes making it 100% buzzword compliant. These are some of the buzzwords we encounter in industrial automation today: Ethernet, Real-Time, TSN, Big Data, Analytics, Industrial Internet of Things, and Industrie 4.0.
Let’s see how PROFINET can “check the buzzword boxes:”
Ethernet. An easy one: PROFINET uses standard, unmodified, IEEE802.3 Ethernet. Any speed (100M/sec and up). Any media (copper, fiber, wireless). Any Ethernet switch (unmanaged or managed).
Real-Time. No matter what speed is required, PROFINET is fast enough. Whether it’s hundreds of milliseconds for a slow changing variable or 31.25 microseconds for fast motion control or a rapidly changing variable. Or anything in between. But it’s not just the speed. The data needs to arrive when it’s supposed to. That’s determinism. And PROFINET is more deterministic than its close competitors.
Time Sensitive Networking. TSN is the abbreviation. There’s a lot of hype about this upcoming evolution of the Ethernet standard. PROFINET will incorporate it when the standards are complete. Since it is just part of Ethernet, PROFINET benefits from any improvements it makes. In the meantime, PROFINET RT and PROFINET IRT are fast and deterministic. So, TSN is not required for its speed and determinism. For details, see What Should I Do about TSN?
Big Data. PROFINET provides data – big or small. Big Data is frequently thought of has being “in the cloud.” Sometimes it’s not-quite-so-big data at the edge. It does not matter where you put the data; what matters is that PROFINET gathers it from simple and complex devices, adds quality information and context, then sends it on.
Analytics. The purpose of collecting the Big Data is so it can be analyzed. PROFINET is indirectly used here. Without PROFINET data, there is nothing to be analyzed. And it’s a two-way street. Once the data is analyzed, action is required. PROFINET carries the changes back down the chain.
Industrial Internet of Things and Industrie 4.0. These two get intertwined. They’re separate but overlapping. Industry 4.0 represents the fourth industrial revolution (after steam, the production line, and using computers). It includes aspects of IIoT and a lot more, like work/life balance. See Industrie 4.0 Revisited for a description of the relationship between Industrie 4.0, IIoT, and PROFINET (including a 47-second video).
PROFINET is indeed 100% buzzword compliant!