PROFIBUS Book Review

I once blogged with tongue in cheek that not only did we have more installed nodes of PROFIBUS than any of the other fieldbuses, but that we had more books, too.  Now we have one more and it’s a doozey.  The principal author is James Powell.  You may recall James from earlier posts.  [I always wanted to steal that phrase from the Emerson Process Experts blog; this was my first chance.]   It’s called Catching the Process Fieldbus, An Introduction to PROFIBUS for Process Automation.  And it’s a great introduction to PROFIBUS – be it for process automation or discrete.  After all, most real world applications have some of each.


I finished reading it last week.  It was a three-boarding pass book, meaning it took me three air segments to finish it.  (My travel schedule provides lots of reading time between waiting in airports and on the plane.)


The book provides details of PROFIBUS from a practical vantage point.  In fact, it’s interspersed with James’ own experiences.  Even though I’ve been around PROFIBUS since the PTO was founded in 1994, I still learned a few things.  And I found different ways of talking about things I did know.  These are approaches we will use in our PROFIBUS and PROFIBUS in the Process Industries one-day training classes.  Speaking of which, James has provided us with some books to give away at those classes.


Let me provide a reading order for PROFIBUS books.  Start with Catching the Process Fieldbus, An Introduction to PROFIBUS for Process Automation.  You can find it at Amazon [eventually – I just checked and it’s not listed yet].  If you need more detail especially as it relates to the protocol, try Ron Mitchell’s PROFIBUS, A Pocket Guide from ISA Press.  If you really want to get down to the bits and bytes, read The New Rapid Way to PROFIBUS by Manfred Popp (available from PTO).


By the way, I love the cover of James’ book; that’s my kind of humor.


[Full disclosure: James had asked me to read a small part of an early version, which I did.  I did not expect that little effort would qualify my name for the Acknowledgements page but it did.  Despite my name being in it (as opposed to because my name is in it), I really like this book.]