Replace PROFINET Device No Computer Needed!

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What if you could replace an IO device on a PROFINET network without using a computer?  Surprise, there is no what-if here – you can do this now.  And there are no addressing switches to set either.  Oh, and the network keeps running the whole time, too.

We demonstrate this Simple Device Replacement feature in our PROFINET one-day training classes and I guess we’ve become too blasé about it.  It is really worthy of the “Wow” comment we got on a Course Evaluation form in Birmingham last month: “When Hunter replaced the component without any computer changes, WOW!!  Plug and go. Even a third shift maintenance man can do it! Simple and impressive!”

Here are the complete instructions for using this feature:

  1. disconnect and remove the defective device
  2. replace and reconnect the new device

Really, that’s all.

Ok, there are a few caveats: the replacement device has to be the same as the device it’s replacing.  No surprise there; you can’t replace a drive with an IO block.  And since PROFINET uses names, not numbers, the replacement device has to have a blank name (which it will from the factory).

In the background, to make Simple Device Replacement work, a veritable alphabet soup of standards comes into play: SNMP, LLDP, and DCP.  Come to one of our PROFINET one-day training classes and we’ll explain all those.

I always think of the breadth of PROFINET (discrete, process, motion, safety, etc.), but this is a reminder of the depth of PROFINET (Fast StartUp, iPar Server, Tool Calling Interface, Simple Device Replacement, etc.)  Wow!

–Carl Henning

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