The annual international PI meeting was recently held in Ireland. It was five solid days (and nights) of PROFINET and PROFIBUS. Here are a few observations that are of general interest.
Mike Bryant, Executive Director of PI North America, has been Deputy Chairman of PI (international) since PI was formed by the Regional PI Associations 20 years ago. Having decided that it was time for younger representation, Mike resigned and our own Michael Bowne was elected the new Deputy Chairman. Mike remains Executive Director of PI North America. Here’s a photo of Michael from the MinutePROFINET videos.
A report from the PI Support Center showed the increasing number of PROFINET product certificates awarded. Last year there were 330 and this year there will be even more.
More numbers: Regional PI Associations (RPAs) represented included Australia, Belgium, Brazil, China, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Middle East, Netherlands, North America, Norway, Poland, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK. Some of these represent multiple countries; for example, the Australian RPA also includes New Zealand, the Middle East includes eight countries, and PI North America includes the US, Canada, and all of Latin America except Brazil. That’s 28 countries not including Latin America. (PI North America fostered the new RPA in Chile and supports the new PI Competence Centers in Bolivia and Peru.)
Our hosts in Ireland did a superb job of having everything planned very well, especially since they were originally expecting about 65 total attendees and had over 90.
The most interesting statistic I came away with: 9 km versus 27 km. One of the PICCs presented their approach to checking a mixed network at a medium sized process plant. The plant had a PROFINET backbone with some PROFIBUS devices integrated via proxy. There were 230 PROFINET devices and 71 PROFIBUS devices. They used 9 km of cable versus the 27 km of cable if it had been an all-PROFIBUS network. I wish I knew what the km of cable would be for a hard-wired, point-to-point approach!
Near the end of the presentation, there were two rules for good design. Here’s #1:
It seems I have heard something like this before: “You will either use a managed switch… or wish you had,” in a previous post or several: “Managed or Unmanaged Switch for PROFINET.” Apparently I’m not the only one.
More statistics (and news) next week.