PI (PROFIBUS and PROFINET International) is a successful organization. Here’s why…
First, why only one “P” in the name? When we started, there was only PROFIBUS. PROFINET came along later. I kind of visualize PI like this:
The superimposed PROFINET green P is eclipsing the PROFIBUS Blue P in PI. But both are there and both are important. And both have been vital to the organization’s success.
PI is successful because it is global and provides two main functions: Educate and Assist.
Global. PI is global, but not in the same way that other automation networks are global. PI is made up of 25 Regional PI Associations (RPAs). Each is independent and can focus its educational efforts (some might call them marketing efforts) in the culture it serves. Marketing that is very comfortable here in North America may not be appropriate in Asia. And vice versa. So, each regional organization can cater to its own region’s needs. But here’s the best part: a member of any RPA anywhere can participate in the development work of the organization. Any member can participate in the Working Groups. Any member can preview and comment on all specifications.
Educate. Teaching users about PROFINET, PROFIBUS, and IO-Link now too, is a primary focus. We do that with materials provided by the PI Support Center and with materials created locally. There are many, many methods to teach. My favorite is our free one-day training classes here in North America. Other regions do similar classes. But other methods include webinars, Certified Network Engineer classes, PROFINEWS, documentation, white papers, application stories, MinutePROFINET videos, other videos, Facebook pages, Twitter, LinkedIn groups and pages, and, of course, the PROFIblog.
Assist. Through our rich ecosystem of organizations – not just RPAs – but the PI Support Center, PI Competence Centers (PICCs), PI Training Centers (PITCs), and PI Test Labs (PITLs) as well, we assist users and device makers alike. Users can get assistance from the educational methods above and from individual attention as needed. A call to an RPA or Competence Center can help resolve a specific problem. Device makers also get individual attention to help them add PROFINET or PROFIBUS to their products.
Wherever you are, PI, its RPAs, PICCs, PITCs, and PITLs are there to help with your PROFINET, PROFIBUS, and IO-Link education and assistance.