Responding to FUD with FCN

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Enough of responding to FUD on FUD’s terms; it’s time for Facts, Certainty, and No-doubts (FCN).  The facts below are documented by reference to the organizations’ websites or other sources.

The reasons to choose PROFINET over Ethernet/IP:

   PROFINET has more functionality

   PROFINET is more deterministic

   PROFINET has more products

   PROFINET has more support

   All PROFINET products are certified

   PROFINET has more connectivity

PROFINET has more functionality

 

PROFINET

 Ethernet/IP

Ethernet IO

Y

Y

Motion Control (1)

Y

P

Component Based Automation (2)

Y

N

Safety – Discrete IO (3)

Y

P

Safety – Process Instruments

Y

N

Safety – Drives

Y

N

             P means Planned (announced, but no shipping products)

(1) Motion Control is just PowerPoint for Ethernet/IP.  PROFINET has had shipping product for years.  And standard TCP/IP traffic can coexist on the network, but can never prevent motion control traffic from getting through.  Watch for my reports from the SPS/Drives show for more details on vendors offering PROFINET drives.

(2) Peer-to-peer integration using Component Based Automation (CBA) is a unique PROFINET function.  It allows disparate control systems to be integrated (and changed) using configuration; no PLC programming required!  No other Industrial Ethernet technology offers this functionality.

(3) Safety for Ethernet/IP discrete IO is planned, but there are no products in the ODVA online catalog.  There is one “safety-related” controller, but it does not use CIP Safety according to its data sheet (HIMatrix F20).  There is no safety IO listed.  PROFINET has for some time offered multiple controllers from Siemens and IO from several companies.  PROFINET is the only technology that can span discrete, process, and drives allowing comprehensive safety scenarios that include all three.

PROFINET is more deterministic

In testing by the University of Michigan, PROFINET had orders of magnitude less jitter than Ethernet/IP.  The tests were done with standard switches and off-the-shelf PLCs.  No “special” ASICs or switches were needed or used.  The test results have been reported in a number of places, including this article in the Industrial Ethernet Book: “Technical Article: Performance metrics for Industrial Ethernet”.

PROFINET has more products

In November 2006, we published a brochure, “PROFINET Product News.”  Download the brochure and count 115 products.  Then go to the ODVA website’s online Ethernet/IP catalog today and count 83 products.  They claim 430 “product IDs” but a user can’t install a “product ID” in his plant and have it do anything useful.

PROFINET has more support

25 Regional PI Associations (RPAs) like PTO for PROFINET; 4 Territorial Alliance Groups (TAGs) for Ethernet/IP.  RPAs are independent but have quality agreements with PI, the international umbrella organization.  TAGs are subservient to the ODVA board.  Both promote member products and educate end users.

35 PI Competence Centers (PICCs) to provide local PROFIBUS and PROFINET network support (not product support) via phone and onsite visits.  Ethernet/IP has none.

11 PI Training Centers (PITCs) to provide certified training for engineers and installers of PROFIBUS and PROFINET.  Ethernet/IP has none.

9 PI Test Labs (PITLs) to certify PROFIBUS products (at vendor’s option) and PROFINET products (mandatory).    Ethernet/IP has 3.  Not all Ethernet/IP products are marked as “Conformance Tested,” for example this one.

PI Competence Centers, Training Centers, and Test Labs are certified by PI and audited annually for conformance to rigorous standards.  Ethernet/IP does not have Competence Centers or Training Centers, but their labs are “authorized.”

PROFINET has more activity in the development of specifications as well.  There are more than 500 experts in over 50 Working Groups working on continuing advancement of PROFIBUS and PROFINET including wireless and integration with production systems.  ODVA does not list the number of “JSIGs” on their website, but I think the number is about 12.

Unlike ODVA, PI also cooperates with other fieldbus organizations to ensure users are best served.  For example, the HART Communications Foundation participated in the development of the specification for the HART proxy.  PI has formed a cooperative team with Fieldbus Foundation and HART for wireless.  This is in addition to the EDDL Cooperation Team (ECT) for advancement of EDDL and the unification with FDT.  Team members include PI, FF, HART, OPC Foundation, and FDT Group.

PROFINET has more connectivity

PROFINET connects to multiple networks using proxies.  Specifications for proxies for PROFIBUS, Interbus, DeviceNet, and HART are completed; for Foundation Fieldbus nearly ready; for CC-Link, the Working Group is just beginning.  A proxy is specified as part of the PROFINET specification in contrast to a gateway which is the product of a single vendor.  Ethernet/IP connects to DeviceNet, period, unless a third party gateway is available.  PROFINET has more connectivity by design.

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