Another week, another airport (Oakland). The PTO hosted a meeting of our counterparts from around the world this past week and now I’m headed home. Many of the 24 other Regional PI Associations (RPAs) were represented. This was a great opportunity to see what other regions are doing, share ideas, and formulate plans.
Our organizational structure is quite different from many fieldbus organizations. Each of the 25 RPAs is an independent, autonomous organization and PI is the umbrella organization. We used to call PI “PROFIBUS International,” but with the advent of PROFINET, we call it simply PI now. If pressed for the meaning of PI we explain it as “PROFIBUS and PROFINET International.” The larger regions have full-time staff (the PTO has 5) and the smaller regions use part-time leadership. But the PI Support Center is well-staffed and this central organization supports all the RPAs. This is why I think of PI as the only really global organization.
All the regions reported growth of PROFIBUS and PROFINET. Their methods for promoting the technologies is similar to ours at the PTO. Most have some type of seminar or training class like ours. These range from Breakfast Meetings to full-day events. After bragging about our one-day training events, we heard from the CPO (China PI Organization). They also do full-day events – about 15-20 per year… with average attendance of about 200! There largest attendance was 350. I guess North America has some catching up to do. The numbers show the stature, interest level, and size of the PROFIBUS and PROFINET community worldwide.
Now for a plane ride and a return to reasonable temperatures (105 degrees F) and humidity (5%). It is a dry heat. And I think I’m in the office for a while until our Chicago-area PROFINET training. Mike A and Mike B are not so lucky they have to go to New Jersey’ Process class and Columbia, SC’s PROFIBUS class before my PROFINET class.