About PI North America

PI North America was founded as the PROFIBUS Trade Organization in 1994 and was generally known as simply PTO.  Although an autonomous non-profit trade organization, PTO renamed itself to PI North America to more closely identify with the international umbrella organization, PI (PROFIBUS/PROFINET International).

PI North America is dedicated to showing industry the beneficial results of using fieldbuses in general and PROFIBUS and PROFINET in particular, while assisting device manufacturers throughout North America in the development and marketing of PROFIBUS and PROFINET products.

Over 1,500 companies organized into 27 Regional PI Associations develop and supply fieldbus and Industrial Ethernet solutions for cost efficient and highly reliable automation.

robotic arms in a car plant

The PI Community

PI is the largest fieldbus organization and it is the umbrella organization responsible for both PROFIBUS and PROFINET technologies. Its standardization efforts and commitment to openness have guaranteed leading-edge, certified-interchangeable products from an enormous range of suppliers. It has been doing business with PROFIBUS since 1989 and a measure of its success is that there are over 60 million PROFIBUS devices in use today. First PROFINET specifications became available in 2002 and products are being released at an increasing rate. There are more than 20 million PROFINET devices installed today.

Membership

As one of those 27 local PROFIBUS and PROFINET organizations, PI North America, a non-profit, member organization, is responsible for North America. Members of PI North America are vendors of hardware, software and systems, as well as end users and operators, scientific institutes, universities, distributors, and system integrators. PI North America supports its members with a range of services such as joint marketing projects, road shows, training classes, product certification, strategy meetings and webinars.

Board of Directors

PI North America is governed by a Board of Directors that advises the organization and helps shape long-term strategy.

Rich Carpenter | GE

Rich Carpenter is the Product General Manager for GE’s Automation and Controls product platforms. The business is headquartered in Charlottesville Virginia with worldwide distribution and deployment capability for their control system, operator interface, industrial PC, and new Field Agent Industrial Internet products. The control system products include the Innovative PacSystems products as well as the robust, high performance Mark VIe product lines used throughout GE in their large equipment and plant controls for Power Generation and Oil and Gas businesses.

Prior to this position Rich was Chief of Product Strategy for GE Intelligent Platforms Software and Services business. He led GE IP’s overall Portfolio plan, the technology strategy, and the initiative to converge software and controls across GE. He worked extensively with the new GE Digital division to establish the requirements for APM and GE’s Brilliant Manufacturing software.

Rich has multiple patents in his name and a strong track record of introducing new, first release products. He began his career in GE’s Edison Engineering Leadership program. He has earned the GE CEO Leadership Award twice. He attended the University of Illinois graduating with a B.S. degree in Engineering and a Master of Science degree in Computer Science from the University of Virginia. Rich resides in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Phil Marshall | Hilscher

Philip Marshall is the CEO of Hilscher North America and is responsible for overseeing all development, marketing, and sales activities at Hilscher for the U.S. and Canada. Hilscher North America, Inc., based in a Chicago suburb, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hilscher Gesellschaft für Systemautomation mbH. Hilscher specializes in products, technologies and services at the leading edge of industrial communications.

Phil has been active in the field of Industrial communications since 1985. Prior to founding Hilscher North America in 2002, he held management positions with Siemens, SST, Synergetic Micro Systems, Contemporary Control Systems, Inc. and Nematron. While at Siemens, Phil architected the company’s strategy for NFPA 79 functional safety, resulting in Siemens receiving the first Functional Safety “Listing Mark”.

Phil holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Operations Management and Information Systems from Bradley University. He is an avid woodworker and wine aficionado, and enjoys taking road trips with his wife, Ellyn, on the couple’s set of German-engineered motorbikes.

Michael Bryant | PI North America

Michael Bryant has been involved with Industrial Automation and the Fieldbus Industries for the past twenty years. He is best known for his worldwide support of the PROFIBUS/PROFINET technologies. With assistance from PROFIBUS International (PI), he founded the PROFIBUS Trade Organization (PTO) in January 1993 which was renamed PI North America in 2010. Today he serves as Chairman of the Board of PI North America and Administrative Director of the OPC Foundation.

Mr. Bryant joined Matrix Corporation as the Vice President of Sales and Marketing in 1988 after retiring from the US Naval Submarine Service. In 1992, he became the Vice President of Global Marketing with PEP Modular Computers. Mr. Bryant resigned his position with PEP in January 1995 to serve full time as the Executive Director of PI North America. In July 2001, he founded Panoramix Services LLC, a corporation specializing in marketing, administrative, and technical services for trade associations.

Mr. Bryant holds a Bachelor of Science degree (magna cum laude) in Electrical Engineering from Vanderbilt University.

Raj Batra | Siemens

Raj Batra is president of the Digital Factory (DF) Division for Siemens USA. In this role, Batra is responsible for overseeing all development, marketing, sales, R&D, vertical industry, and manufacturing aspects for DF in the United States. Joining Siemens in 1993, Batra has held a variety of high-level management and sales positions including VP, General Manager, Global Corporate Account Manager and Automotive and Aerospace Business Unit Manager. In addition to his responsibilities at Siemens, Batra is a member of the Board of Governors of The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), and a member of the Board of Trustees of the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI). Prior to Siemens, Batra worked as a sales engineer and product manager developing automation solutions for discrete manufacturing and process industries. Batra earned a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Lawrence Technological University in Michigan and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Michigan.

Jeff Besola | Softing

Beginning 5 years ago, Jeff led Sales and Marketing and was President of Online Development Inc., Softing’s US-based private-label product development business. Currently he leads Sales and Support for Softing Industrial and Softing IT Networks comprised of automation and cable testing businesses.

Before joining Softing, Jeff served in a variety of sales and marketing roles with over 25 years of experience in multinational organizations with global responsibilities including Director of Global Sales and Marketing at Emerson Electric.