GAM 2015.2: The PROFINET of Things

The PROFINET of Things is a foundation of the Industrial Internet of Things which lies at the overlap of the Internet of Things and Industrie 4.0.  It is foundational in that it provides the data that is needed.  And it does it better than other protocols (see Data Access, Uptime, and Openness).

Our theme at the General Assembly Meeting was PROFINET of Things.  That was reported on at Automation World and has been summarized in a recent webcast by Michael Bowne:

As you can see from the webcast PROFINET collects the data; OPC UA takes it from the controller up and directly from some complex devices.  Because PROFINET uses standard unmodified Ethernet, PROFINET and OPC (and other protocols) can coexist on the same infrastructure (cable and switches).

This architecture is already being used as this example (one of several) from Barry Lynch’s Brilliant Machines presentation showed:


Click to enlarge


Raj Batra also had several examples.  This one shows PROFINET being used to make PROFINET devices (or, what Microsoft calls “eating your own dog food”):


click to enlarge


The PROFINET of Things is a real thing – being used now.  It evolved to its current level, where it was headed even before it had a catchy name.  The theme continued into the second day of the meeting – that’s up in the next post.

–Carl Henning