Anaheim PROFINET Training Report

It was old-home week for me last week in Anaheim.  I lived in Orange County from 1994 until 2000 while working at Wonderware.  So after catching up with some other Wonderware alumni on Tuesday, it was off to the training class on Wednesday.

I think we have these PROFINET training sessions down pat, but it’s always interesting to get attendees’ feedback.  We added some additional demonstrations to show built-in diagnostic capabilities for the first time.  (I already blogged about the feedback that instigated this.)

Some typical feedback from Anaheim:

   “Would have liked more process industry focus.  Otherwise, excellent seminar!”

   “In addition: Comparison against FF – you steered clear of this topic.”

Good news for those seeking more on the process industry and a comparison with FF – there’s a full day PROFIBUS in the process industry class scheduled for Long Beach on September 25.

We had a few folks looking for more details on determinism, motion control, integration with PROFIBUS, integration with GE Fanuc products, and more.  We also had more than the usual number who thought the course was “too long.”  You can see our difficulty.  We try to keep the topics of most general interest in the one-day class, but for real depth we offer the full week certified network engineer classes.

We had several complaints about the cost of parking.  For those folks, please remember there was no charge for the course, for breakfast, for lunch, or for the bar afterwards.

On the positive side: “I thought this free training was a good way for our company to learn about the technology and the vendors.  Thank you.”

We also had a comment about switches: “One thought when talking about industrial switches – you may want to let people know what features you need for managed versus unmanaged.”  We do actually spend some time on that and I’ve blogged on the topic before.  To recap, you can use an unmanaged switch with PROFINET, but you’ll get some diagnostic benefits from a managed switch.  For a managed switch, we recommend the QoS feature (IEEE 802.1p/q).  Useful (while not required) features include trunking, VLAN, and port mirroring.  PROFINET does not require IGMP Snooping.

We also had a comment about noise.  We talk about the benefits of shielding, but this time we forgot to mention that for real noise immunity you can use fiber instead of copper.

Mike A is in Tulsa tomorrow for the PROFIBUS one-day training event.  You can still register for that today if you can be there.  My next PROFINET class is August 4 in Scottsdale, followed by a PROFINET Developer Workshop on August 5.