Catching the Process Fieldbus

This is an updated, edited version of the book review post from March of 2009.

I once blogged with tongue in cheek that not only did we have more installed nodes of PROFIBUS than any of the other fieldbuses, but that we had more books, too.  Now we have one more and it’s a doozey.  The principal author is James Powell.  It’s called Catching the Process Fieldbus, An Introduction to PROFIBUS for Process Automation.  And it’s a great introduction to PROFIBUS – be it for process automation or discrete.  After all, most real world applications have some of each.

The book provides details of PROFIBUS from a practical vantage point.  In fact, it’s interspersed with James’ own experiences.  Even though I’ve been around PROFIBUS since the PTO was founded in 1994, I still learned a few things.  And I found different ways of talking about things I did know.  These are approaches we are using in our PROFIBUS one-day training classes.  Speaking of which, James and the publisher have provided us with some books to give away at those classes.

Let me provide a reading order for PROFIBUS books.  Start with Catching the Process Fieldbus, An Introduction to PROFIBUS for Process Automation.  You can find it at Amazon.  If you need more detail especially as it relates to the protocol, try Ron Mitchell’s PROFIBUS, A Pocket Guide from ISA Press.  If you really want to get down to the bits and bytes, read The New Rapid Way to PROFIBUS by Manfred Popp (available from PI North America).

[Full disclosure: James had asked me to read a small part of an early version, which I did.  I did not expect that little effort would qualify my name for the Acknowledgements page but it did.  Despite my name being in it (as opposed to because my name is in it), I really like this book.]