PI (PROFIBUS and PROFINET International) is the international umbrella organization for PROFIBUS and PROFINET fieldbus technologies. Today the emphasis is on international. I have recently returned from the PI annual meeting of Regional PI Associations (RPAs) like PTO. We accomplished the mundane (budgets and elections) and the exciting (strategy review and individual RPA updates). My favorite part is the cross fertilization that accompanies the individual RPA updates. From short sessions for plant managers in the Netherlands to breakfast meetings in South Africa to the thousands of engineers reached annually by our host RPA, CPO (China PI Organization), the ideas that we can adopt locally flowed.
PI, incidentally, is made up of 25 RPAs and handles the qualification and certification of the various groups that support the technologies. We have 35 PICCs (PI Competence Centers), 8 PITLs (Test Labs), and 11 PITCs (Training Centers). We have recently added a second PICC in China and two more PITCs. In fact, all the Training Centers are fairly new as we added this certified category at last year’s annual meeting. To qualify for any of these classifications, defined steps must be taken, equipment installed, and audits conducted. A Quality of Service Agreement is contracted between PI and each Competence Center, Test Lab, and Training Center. All this rigor ensures that no matter where in the world a user (or manufacturer) of PROFIBUS and PROFINET is, support is close by.
The standards work for PI is accomplished by 54 Working Groups organized under six Technical Committees. The Training Working Group (TC 1, WG 9), chaired by Dennis van Booma met during the accompanying PICC annual meeting. This dedicated group finished their meeting Saturday morning in the bus on the way to the Great Wall.
Election results: Edgar Kuester of PNO (German RPA) was re-elected PI Chairman and Michael Bryant of our own PTO (North American RPA) was re-elected Deputy Chairman.
During the RPA portion of the meetings, I polled the attendees on their use of RSS. None used it! So I got on my soapbox once again to encourage them to use RSS. Have information you want and need delivered to you; you don’t have to go find it. Check out the last two paragraphs of this blog post. While I was in China, Jim Cahill of Emerson Process Experts was at the Emerson Exchange talking about RSS and other aspects of Web 2.0. He’s posted those resources for all of us on his blog. You don’t have to start using all of Web 2.0, but do start using RSS… now. Seriously, stop reading now and set up your reader.