2017, A New Start

It’s a brand new year. A time to reflect on getting to this point (briefly reflect, I opine). A time to plan for the new year. (Forget resolutions; they never get followed through. Plan instead.)

That brief reflection:

2016 was a good year for our technologies. PROFINET, PROFIBUS, and IO-Link all grew their installed bases. PROFIsafe is being adopted more frequently as the market learns of the benefits of automating functional safety. Classes were full. The test labs were busy. The websites were much-visited. PROFINEWS had a record number of readers.

Planning (predicting?) for the future:Empty Crystal Ball isolated on white background

I took a formal look forward in the January PROFINEWS article “The PROFIfuture.”

Herewith, a less-formal look (because that’s really what the PROFIblog is all about):

PROFIBUS continues to grow. We are often asked if PROFIBUS is going away. NO! We could not make PROFIBUS go away even if we wanted to. The installed base is so large that existing installations will be expanded using the already-installed network; that is, PROFIBUS.

PROFINET is outpacing PROFIBUS installs. Despite the fact that PROFIBUS holds up very well due to its speed and message size, PROFINET is growing faster. PROFINET has larger address space, larger message size, is faster, and has improved diagnostics. The improved diagnostics translate into downtime prevention.

IO-Link is a great technology for connecting intelligent sensors and actuators to higher-level control systems. It is not a bus, but a point-to-point connection scheme that is fieldbus independent. As users discover its improvement in configuration speed, its diagnostic capabilities, and its ability to replace devices without a computer or manual programming, its adoption rate has soared.

So, I mentioned that the PROFIblog is intended to be less formal. What does that mean? It means that it is a first-person account of news and opinion. Yes, opinion. Unlike the formal news articles on the website and in PROFINEWS, PROFIblog posts are not approved by PI and may not reflect PI’s official position. But because there is no approval process, news often appears faster here; for example, reports from one-day training classes and trade shows. And there are no limits on size so there are more photos and videos. And I can get snarky or go off-topic to report on engineering stuff that is not related to PROFI technologies.

I’m looking forward to another year of blogging. Click here so you can be updated when new posts appear (which for no particular reason seems to be Tuesday mornings).

–Carl Henning