PROFIBUS installations surpass 10 million with growth expected to double by 2008; Ethernet-based solution introduced

Scottsdale, AZ — PROFIBUS International, representing more than 1,200 member companies worldwide, has announced that at the end of 2003 PROFIBUS devices installed in factory and process automation applications had surpassed a historic 10 million benchmark– a total substantially higher than any other fieldbus solution. On the heels of this announcement, the organization has also introduced PROFINET, an Ethernet-based automation solution that provides a scalable, high-performance migration path to the world of Industrial Ethernet. PROFINET is a significant development, as it provides Ethernet migration not only for PROFIBUS, but other fieldbus systems as well.


Citing the sale of ten million PROFIBUS ASICs as the basis for the installation benchmark, PROFIBUS International Chairman, Edgar Kuester stated, “It’s a remarkable achievement that’s due mainly to the technical excellence of PROFIBUS, which can meet a very wide range of needs across the automation spectrum.” Kuester paid tribute to the support and innovation of the organization’s member companies who make up the largest fieldbus community in the world, and alluded to examples of how PROFIBUS is now driving fieldbus developments, an example of which being new performance standards in networked Machine Safety using PROFIsafe technology.


From its conception, PROFIBUS was developed as an open standard, anchored today in IEC 61158 and IEC 61784. Approximately 1.3 million PROFIBUS devices are installed in process plants, of which 290,000 are PROFIBUS PA devices with the MBP (Manchester-Encoded Bus Powered) interface conforming to IEC 61158-2 required for hazardous area use. This figure comes from research undertaken by the top-seven PROFIBUS PA vendors representing about 90% of the market, which also suggests 320,000 PROFIBUS PA devices are now in process plants. The remainder are PROFIBUS DP devices in upstream (materials handling etc) and downstream (bottling, packaging, etc.) process applications. PROFIBUS DP, which shares a common communications protocol with PROFIBUS PA, is the only fieldbus that can provide compatible networking technology for all parts of the process plant.


“By all accounts, the contribution made by PROFIBUS to both process and discrete manufacturing is momentous, dwarfing those made by competitive technologies,” said Kuester. “Furthermore, the market’s enthusiasm for PROFIBUS shows no sign of decreasing and we believe that we will double the number of installed devices to 20 million by 2008. This offers significant opportunities for member companies.”


Despite this exponential growth, the organization has continued to leverage its 15 years of technological leadership by anticipating automation trends and now introduces PROFINET, a next-generation automation solution based on Ethernet communications. PROFINET satisfies the trend towards distributed automation systems and builds on the PROFIBUS experience by offering a flexible, future-proof approach to automation for an increasingly global and Internet-dominated world. “PROFINET brings together a rich combination of standards-based functionality and combines it with innovative hardware in a flexible package,” said Kuester. “For members, it will offer a new source of high value revenue. For users, it makes engineering, commissioning, operation and maintenance simpler and more effective, and it promises improved ROIs across the enterprise. PROFINET integrates PROFIBUS connectivity as well as other fieldbuses if required providing an easy migration path for all fieldbus users that fully protects current investments.”


With a network of Regional Associations in 24 countries and PROFIBUS Competence Centers and Test Labs in 16 countries,