Jun 6

Imitation is the Flattest Form of Sincerity

I received an email invitation from ODVA for an Ethernet/IP free seminar.  We’ve been doing PROFINET one-day training events for at least three years. I see they have one scheduled for the United States; we typically do 10 in the US and Canada.  (And, of course, our colleagues at the other 24 regional organizations do…

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May 31

Ethernet Basics

Another PROFINET one-day class is finished.  Here in Newton, MA, the crowd was good and the exhibitors were legion.  There were an unusually high number of device manufacturers at this event, so we added a short overview of four of the development tools suppliers.  All four were exhibiting so that worked out well for everyone….

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May 24

General Assembly Meeting, PROFIsafe, and a road trip

We’ve nailed down most of the details for the PTO General Assembly Meeting.  This is our 12th and my 11th. Where does the time go?  And more importantly, how could I have missed one?  I really get excited about these events.  Learn lots.  Teach some.  Visit old friends.  Make new ones.  Observe the competitive attendee…

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May 16

Industrial Ethernet Survey

Network Vision, a PTO member, has some clever tools to help maintain Industrial Ethernet networks.  We demonstrate them at the PROFINET one-day training events to show how standard tools can help troubleshoot the PROFINET network.  They’ll be exhibiting at our free upcoming Boston one-day training class on May 31.  The news is that they are…

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May 11

Why Use Industrial Ethernet?

One of the topics we cover in the PROFINET one-day training classes is the industrial automation trends that have led users to Industrial Ethernet.  And more importantly, the results they can expect in using Industrial Ethernet, especially PROFINET. We were recently able to expand on that topic in an article in Control Engineering.  It’s been…

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May 2

Whither Wireless? Which one?

Whither Wireless?  Which one?  We talk about wireless as if it were some monolithic thing.  It’s not. There was a lot of wireless stuff at Hanover, even a wireless pavilion with many displays.  My observation is that wireless means many different things.  I see four broad categories: device-level fieldbus-level Ethernet RTU-level The first one has…

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May 2


The raging controversy between FDT and EDDL continued at Hanover.  This is just silly. My advice to those who are so wrapped up in one that they can’t tolerate the other is this: get over it!  Neither is going away.  The users will pick which one they want… IF THEY CARE.  And they don’t really…

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Apr 27

Are you going to Hanover Fair…

Not Scarborough Fair… and no parsley, sage, rosemary, or thyme.  Are You Going to Hanover Fair could have been the tune at Hanover Fair on Monday (with apologies to Simon and Garfunkel).  Monday attendance seemed off from prior years; one company said they had 20% fewer leads.  Fortunately Tuesday picked up and Wednesday was very busy;…

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Apr 23

Manchester-Encoded Safety Airport Lounge

En route to Hanover I am spending some hours in the Manchester (UK) airport… too many, actually, but more than enough time to read and ponder a Briefing in Friday’s ARCwire on HIMA’s Safety Systems.  In the last paragraph this bit causes me to wonder: “HIMA offers open integration solutions based on common hardware and…

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Apr 21

Safety Has Evolved

“Safety has evolved from being a cost burden and “necessary evil” to a strategy for improving productivity and reducing downtime.” –from the “The Business Case for Safety” section of the new ARC White Paper, PROFIsafe: Networked Safety for Process and Factory Automation. We engineers sometimes get so excited about the technology we forget about the…

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