Hanover Fair, News on Condition Monitoring

With the PROFINET specification complete and stable, work continues on application profiles. An application profile standardizes the way data is sent and received to simplify user interaction; the underlying communications protocol is not impacted. As one example, PI is the only organization that has created standards for taking information from the plant floor to production management systems. (See the whitepaper MES and PROFINET.)  Work has begun in a PI Working Group to wrap up PROFINET’s diagnostic advantages in an application profile.

Now an additional effort has been launched for Condition Monitoring. PI is stepping up its activities in the area of condition monitoring. A working group has been set up for this and given the task of implementing requirements for uniform condition monitoring communication in PI technologies.

Condition monitoring systems (CMS) obtain and interpret status information from systems and machines to enable timely detection of malfunctions caused by conditions such as wear, use, and contamination. Condition monitoring (CM) is becoming more and more important in automation. Drive and controller manufacturers as well as sensor and component suppliers are already working on specific technical concepts and products. Today’s solutions can be integrated in an overall system only with significant effort. From the user perspective, however, holistic solutions based on standards are needed. A standardized protocol is needed for efficient use of condition monitoring systems of different manufacturers and technologies (pneumatic, electrical, hydraulic, and mechanical systems) across machines.

The ongoing work is based on the detailed requirements for uniform CM communication of the VDMA working group “Fieldbus Neutral Reference Architecture for Condition Monitoring in Production Automation” (VDMA 24582).

This work will culminate in publication of a general Condition Monitoring application profile that covers function blocks, configuration of field devices, and mapping to existing communication mechanisms of PROFINET and IO-Link and can be combined with other functionalities (e.g., PROFIdrive).

–Carl Henning