Is PROFINET Product Certification Required?

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iStock_000016997869SmallIn the PROFINET group on LinkedIn the question was raised: “Is PROFINET certification mandatory for a weight indicator with PROFINET IO fieldbus?

Dennis van Booma answered quickly and succinctly: “Yes, PROFINET IO devices have to be certified.”

Someone else jumped in with a longer answer whose essence was to certify if your customer will let you charge enough to cover your cost. He then listed some of the development tool providers that would help ensure a certifiable product.

I could not let Dennis’ simple answer or the maybe-certify answer go by without adding my own two cents worth:

Dennis is right: “Yes, PROFINET IO devices have to be certified.”

Devices which have not been certified cannot use the PROFINET logo.

Devices which are not certified will not be accepted by your biggest potential customers.

Members of any local Regional PI Association have access to self-test tools which help shorten time in the test lab. The certificate fee is also waived for members.

Using a stack, chip, or module from a recognized supplier is a good start. Carlos named some, but there are many more. For an overview of the PROFINET development process and a list of tool providers, download “The Easy Way to PROFINET – North American Edition” from http://us.profinet.com/white-paper/the-easy-way-to-profinet-north-american-edition/ or “The easy Way to PROFINET Technology” from http://www.profibus.com/nc/download/brochures-white-paper/downloads/the-easy-way-to-profinet-technology/display/ for the European edition. Your local PI association can help guide you through the process.

Development tools are not certified by PI, but their development kits typically are. Of course, most have been through the certification process in devices many times.

Your product will still need its own unique GSD file. It will be tested along with your device.

Ensuring that your product will perform well on a PROFINET network is worth the small cost to certify it. That’s cheaper than sending personnel to the field to troubleshoot a problem.

Short answer: “Certify your product.” You will be glad you did… and so will your customer.

–Carl Henning

An aside: There are so many places to get answers to PROFINET and PROFIBUS questions that it is hard to know where to start. While this question was raised in the LinkedIn PROFINET group, there are many other places. It’s hard to know which is the best. We try to monitor many of them, but our fastest response will always be to questions posted at us.profinet.com’s forums: PROFINET and PROFIBUS.

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