5 Questions about PI North America Answered

We at PI North America spend most of our time educating people about the technologies: PROFIBUS and PI North America Logo-WEBPROFINET. But what is PI North America?  Here are answers to the 5 most common questions about the organization.

What does PI North America DO?

We have only two goals: educate and assist – educate people about PROFIBUS and PROFINET and assist device makers add PROFIBUS and PROFINET to their products.  Our educational efforts include free one-day training classes, webinars, videos, social media, newsletter, website, and personal contact.  We assist device makers by helping them through the development process from selecting a development tools provider to certification.

Where does PI North America fit in with international PI?

PI North America is one of 27 Regional PI Associations (RPAs) that make up PROFIBUS and PROFINET International (PI).  The RPAs are all independent, but contract with PI to provide services in their individual regions.  A member in any region has access to all the development aspects of PI, but to market in a region, they have to belong locally.  We organized this way because we discovered that there are cultural differences in the way users are approached.  What works in the USA may not work in Japan.

How is PI North America staffed?

We have three technical staff, all from industry, all with technical degrees.  We understand the technologies very deeply.  But part of our ecosystem includes those with even deeper knowledge.  We call their organizations PI Competence Centers (PICCs).  The oldest one is the PROFI Interface Center in Johnson City, Tennessee.  We have two administrative staff to handle accounting, HR, and member services.

Where does PI North America get their funding?

We are an independent, member-supported, non-profit trade organization with 160 members.  Our members pay us annual dues.  For those dues they can access development resources while developing PROFINET and PROFIBUS products.  After their products are developed they can promote them in our online product guide and by announcing them in PROFINEWS.

Why is PI North America located in Scottsdale, Arizona?

Because we can be!  It’s nice here all year.  Ok, it gets a little warm during the summer – if you think 115 F (46 C) is warm.  Besides, the Phoenix airport is a hub airport so it’s easy to get to all our one-day training classes around North America from here.

–Carl Henning