Is PROFINET Proprietary? (a clear answer for engineers)

The statement that PROFINET is proprietary is a myth that we will debunk.

A proprietary standard is owned by a company or organization. Such an entity exercises sole discretion as to who may use their technology and under what terms.

An open standard is publicly available and has various rights to use associated with it.

PROFINET is not proprietary; it is an international open standard. The specification was created by PROFIBUS and PROFINET International (PI) Working Groups, but neither the PI organization nor any company owns the standard. Also, the PROFINET specification is available at the PI and IEC websites.

The PI organization offers membership programs, but membership is not required to implement PROFINET in products. Membership gives companies the option to join working groups, participate in marketing and educational programs, and much more.

PROFINET is an Open Standard

Since PROFINET is an open standard, an extensive number of manufacturers have implemented PROFINET in their products. End-users can buy PROFINET-enabled products from various manufacturers and combine them to create the best possible automation solution.

You have learned how PROFINET is an open standard. But what are the benefits of open standards? And why are they important?

There are three main benefits of open standards:

Open standards…

  • Encourage overall adoption
  • Promote competition between vendors and foster innovation
  • And, they provide ease of integration

Since its introduction, the adoption of PROFINET has grown exponentially. As of 2021, over 40 million PROFINET nodes have been installed worldwide.

Open standards foster a broad selection of products and promote competition between vendors. This competition is what drives innovation and lowers prices. Disruptive technologies often emerge from companies that are agile enough to innovate based on open standards. Also, open standards allow small and medium-sized companies to compete.

PROFINET device manufacturers offer a wide array of products; some target specific niche markets, while others provide added functionality for product differentiation. A few examples of added functionality include integrated web interfaces, wireless connections, functional safety, and connectivity to higher-level systems.

Finally, open standards help streamline the development process with various readily available options and resources for implementation.

PROFINET is an international open standard. It is a future-proof technology that continues to grow and adapt to new challenges in the automation industry.

Do you want to learn more about PROFINET? Download this free white paper: PROFINET FOR NETWORK GEEKS (and those who want to be).

Also, you can watch this webinar for a complete overview of the technology: How PROFINET Works? A Beginner’s Guide.

-Nelly Ayllon