Nodes, fieldbuses, and not-exactly

Today we released a press release that announced the PROFIBUS growth story.  It shows an installed base of 18,800,000 PROFIBUS nodes spanning discrete, process, and safety applications.  We had previously predicted we would hit 20,000,000 by the end of next year; it looks like we’ll get there much sooner.  Process nodes installed to date are 630,000 in intrinsically-safe capable instruments and sensors with many more discrete nodes also installed in process applications.

Before I got the chance to blog about this release, Walt Boyes pounced on it on his blog.  He wonders why we don’t include HART in any fieldbus comparisons.  Of course, we weren’t making any comparisons; we were just talking about what we know – PROFIBUS).  But at the risk of repeating myself (I say as I repeat myself from this past blog), HART is not a bus.  So, if we were comparing to other fieldbuses, we would not compare to HART – contrast, maybe.  You can jump over to his blog to see his commentary and my reply.

Who cares how many nodes there are?  There are those who legitimately ask this question.  We talked about it before.  But we did not deal with a more fundamental question: Why does any of this matter?   It matters because the node count and, more importantly, the node count growth, is an indicator to the user community that using a fieldbus is a mainstream solution – that using PROFIBUS and PROFINET is a mainstream solution.

On Monday I’m off to Atlanta with Mike B for our Atlanta PROFINET one-day training event on Tuesday.  If you are in the area, come and join us for a solid educational background on PROFINET.  If you can make it, please register.  Mike A will be in Salt Lake City for our PROFIBUS one-day training event on Monday.  He would be glad to see you there.  You can register here.  We ask you to register even though the classes are free so we can be sure to have enough seats… and enough lunch!