Aug 12

Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Fieldbus

I can’t believe anyone is still in favor of 4-20mA as the best approach to process automation, but there were some in the ISA LinkedIn group who favored it. This sends me into rant mode… If you think 4-20mA is the right approach for process automation, you probably also think: Three channels of television is…

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May 22

Final Observations about STEM

I’m just returned from The Automation Conference in Chicago where STEM was a frequent topic, prompting these final observations. Why is there a skills gap? To quote an old comic strip character: “We have met the enemy and he is us.” There is a skills gap because we talk about it, but we don’t act…

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May 20

More STEM Anecdotes and Resources

Adding to last week’s post about STEM, here are other encouraging observations on STEM education: Boy Scouts now can get a Merit Badge in CAD. This is literally an observation; from the display of merit badges at a grandson’s Eagle Scout ceremony: And another grandson chooses the engineering path: Puyallup junior delves into rocket science….

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May 14

STEM Anecdotes

Multiple anecdotes do not equal data. So this post consists of, let’s call them “observations” instead of “anecdotes,” about STEM (short for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) and the alleged lack of STEM-equipped workers in the pipeline. There are success stories in promoting STEM education to middle schoolers. In one small, remote Alaskan village, all…

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Dec 19

Metcalfe’s Law after 40 Years of Ethernet

I enjoy reading about industrial automation. One of the magazines I read regularly is Computer magazine (the digital edition, of course). Since PROFINET runs on Ethernet, an article in the December issue caught my eye: “Metcalfe’s Law after 40 Years of Ethernet” written by Bob Metcalfe himself. He set out to prove that his law…

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Nov 20


UPDATED: As soon as I hit “Publish” the app appeared!  Get the iPad version here and the iPhone version here. The PROFIblog provides a platform for behind the scenes looks and the occasional opinion, not just news. Today we have a mixture of behind the scenes and news… PROFINEWS. We’ve been working on a news…

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Nov 12

Next Year in …

Next year in… not Jerusalem, but in 16 cities around North America for free PROFINET one-day training classes. This will be the first place you see our plans for 2014: City Month San Diego February Birmingham February Houston March Greenville March Dayton April Las Vegas April Kansas City April Boston May Milwaukee June Cleveland June…

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Jun 25

Tech Tuesday

[one_half]”PROFINET in the Automotive Industry” was the title for the latest installment of Phoenix Contact’s Tech Tuesday events. Held June 18th at their new offices in Ann Arbor, Michigan, 30 attendees learned about using PROFINET and featured a variety of speakers. The audience featured a range of end-users (General Motors) integrators/distributors, and OEMs (Fanuc Robotics)….

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Mar 19

News Roundup

“I’m headed for the last roundup” – so sings Gene Autry in an MP3 track I listen to occasionally.  And today we’re headed for the last roundup… for now anyway.  We’ve had a video roundup and a white paper roundup and we’ll finish off the roundups with this news roundup: At Control Engineering Automaker changes…

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Mar 6

White Paper Roundup

There has been a flurry of activity with respect to White Papers being written about PROFIBUS and PROFINET. What’s unique about these however, is that they are not being written by us here at PI, but rather member organizations. I thought I’d take the time to quickly grab a few of the latest ones and…

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