This year’s PI North America General Assembly Meeting (GAM) was again held in a virtual format, back on October 13th. Here are some highlights from the presentations.
- Michael Bowne, Executive Director, PI North America
- Karsten Schneider, Chairman, PI
- Torsten Paulsen, General Manager, PROFI Interface Center
State of the Association
The big highlight of 2022 is that we have achieved an all-time high in membership. As of this writing, PI North America has 170 paying members. This is big news as it speaks to the solid foundation and deliverables upon which the organization is built.
Results from our 2022 marketing efforts were presented including the many vehicles we utilize to educate and assist the industrial automation market. To list them all would take up too much space, but in general we focus on four areas:
- Awareness & Promotion
- Engagement & Collateral
- Education & Training
- Adoption & Assistance
Most famous among these areas are the PROFINET One-Day Training Classes (ODTCs) we host around the country. We weren’t really sure what to expect coming out of the COVID pandemic, so we ran three ‘test’ classes back in the June 2022 timeframe. Based on the success of those we scheduled 7 more to round out the year.
There are three big announcements regarding 2023:
PI North America will host fourteen (14) PROFINET ODTCs in the United States in 2023 plus one in Canada and one in Mexico. The desire and need for in-person learning appears to remain strong and we are emboldened by the support provided by the exhibitors at these events. Attendees to the ODTCs are provided a free, educational, PROFINET training class, lunch is included, and access to exhibitors during breaks to learn about the many products available for purchase.
3 IO-Link Workshops
Plans for IO-Link User Workshops (similar to our ODTCs) laid in 2020 were scrapped when the COVID pandemic hit. We are excited to announce that we will host three (3) IO-Link events in 2023 in Detroit, MI + Greenville, SC + Minneapolis, MN. This is big news and speaks to the popularity of IO-Link, which is growing at an exponential rate.
omlox at ProMat
We will exhibit at the ProMat tradeshow in March with the omlox technology. After the success of omlox at IMTS this year, this will be the first official omlox booth at ProMat. We look forward to seeing you there!
We announced that membership renewals/applications after Jan 1 have the following fee structure:
- Device Manufacturer, 1-10 employees: $800
- Device Manufacturer, 11-50 employees: $2000
- Device Manufacturer, 51-100 employees: $4000
- Device Manufacturer, 100+ employees: $8000
- Distributor / System Integrator: $800
- End-User / Machine Builder: $1300
Of the many exciting developments going on at PI from a technology perspective, Karsten Schneider, Chairman, was able to select three to highlight for the audience. These were:
Ethernet-APL stands to fundamentally expand the capabilities of industrial networks in hazardous/explosive environments. Bringing PROFINET down to the instrument level in these areas opens up a world of possibilities when it comes to data access in process automation plants.
Standard Robot Command Interface (SRCI)
The SRCI is a vendor-independent library of commands that immensely reduces the complexity of programming robots from more than one vendor. All the major robot providers supported its development.
Module Type Package (MTP)
Finally, MTP is a standardized non-proprietary description of modules for process automation facilities. For example: skid integration can be automated using MTP.
Test Lab Report
Torsten Paulsen, General Manager of the PROFI Interface Center presented results from the test lab in Johnson City, TN. In short: the lab is testing:
- 25% more PROFINET devices in 2022 than in 2021
- many first-time customers
- a wide variety of devices and companies is high
Why is PROFINET the most-installed industrial Ethernet protocol worldwide? It is the wide ecosystem of available devices from many different best-of-breed suppliers that foster its installation. The numbers from the test lab indicate this support.
For the Association,