More Long Beach Process Q & A

Belatedly here are more of the questions and comments from the Long Beach PROFIBUS in the Process Industry one-day training class.  I started this three weeks ago promising I would get to these in a day or so.  Turned out to be “or so.”  Here’s a question, some praise, and some criticism…

Need exceptional clarification as to applicability of PROFIsafe system – machine control only, not “safety equipment” utilization?

This is a really good question since “safety” can mean a lot of different things.  In a process context most people will think of safety as “Intrinsic Safety.”  According to Wikipedia, “Intrinsic safety (IS) is a protection technique for safe operation of electronic equipment in explosive atmospheres.”  The Flow Meter Directory defines it this way: “Intrinsic Safety – A protection method for use in potentially explosive atmospheres that limits the energy available to create a spark or heat surfaces.”  PROFIBUS PA is a bus technology physical layer that is designed to be applied for intrinsic safety.  PROFIsafe does not deal with this aspect, but rather the “functional safety” aspect – protection from malfunctioning equipment.  For more detail about functional safety, click the Education menu item at

Some praise:

Very good presentation and handout.  Very informative to prospective user like us.  We are looking at using PROFIBUS – very good technology, simple and effective.

Thanks for the information.  This has given me a good picture for a project I will be working on in a few months.

Excellent Asset Management session.

There was some useful constructive criticism on what to include more or less of, plus these:

 Topics…In greater detail: trips to the Caribbean

We haven’t offered these yet, but I’ll be happy to sign up!

 Vendors need to bring more swag.  This is an industry-wide problem. 

“Swag” in this context means vendor give-aways.  I like the term tchotchke better, though I have trouble pronouncing it.  We always break up the heavy technical schedule with the occasional raffle.  Some raffles are for really nice items like Best Buy gift cards and some are for… well, swag.

Next I’m going to try to get caught up on the questions and comments from the Louisville PROFINET one-day training event.  I have to hurry since I’m off for the Tampa PROFINET class tomorrow morning.  (It’s not too late to sign up.)  When we scheduled the Tampa event, we had no idea we would be competing with the World Series in town.