“And the winner is…”

An attendee from our Anaheim PROFINET one-day training event made a comment to my blogged report which I’m promoting to this post to answer:

“As a former automation engineering in the process industries, and a DeltaV user, I have been pre-programmed to believe that FF was the only way.  After a few years in core business IT, I want to get back to my roots in automation and control.  I would really like to find out how the buss wars ended (or who is winning) while I had my head in the sand for six years.  Any good internet resources you can direct me to?”

Who won the fieldbus wars?  Absolutely and unequivocally – PROFIBUS.  With 23,300,000 installed nodes through 2007, PROFIBUS has about as many nodes installed as all the other major fieldbuses combined.  And the year-over-year growth rate was 24% indicating PROFIBUS growth continues unabated.  If you look more narrowly at fieldbuses, just in the intrinsically safe physical layer, that’s where FF plays.  And that’s where PROFIBUS PA plays as well.  In this area, it’s more of a tie with both in the 700,000 range.  (FF reference.  PROFIBUS PA reference.)  Note that FF and PA use the same physical layer; only the protocols are different from each other.  The PROFIBUS PA protocol is the PROFIBUS DP protocol.

I’ll complete the answer tomorrow with Internet links for information in the automation and fieldbus areas.