Aug 16

How does PROFIBUS DP work?

The communication basis for PROFIBUS lies in the cyclic data exchange between PLCs (masters) and devices (slaves). PROFIBUS components communicate using the PROFIBUS DP (Decentralized Periphery) communication protocol, which is the same for all applications and which allows cyclical and acyclical communication. The core of the communication process of PROFIBUS DP is the master-slave method….

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Jun 10

The Difference between PROFIBUS and PROFINET

What is the difference between PROFIBUS and PROFINET? We get this question fairly often. This article covers a comparison between PROFIBUS and PROFINET. In short: PROFIBUS is a classic serial Fieldbus, and PROFINET is an industrial Ethernet protocol. PROFIBUS and PROFINET are both IEC standards created by the same organization: PROFIBUS and PROFINET International. Because…

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Mar 2

PROFIBUS to PROFINET: Migration strategies

Migration Approaches PROFINET leverages PROFIBUS technologies to ensure a smooth and cost-effective migration between them. Depending on the factory state and current network technology there are two migration approaches: Greenfield and Brownfield installation Greenfield Installation: Nonexistent network in the first place, i.e. new branch in the factory. New factories won’t require migration, but new branches…

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Aug 15

Where’s My GSD File?

GSD files have been needed for a long time, first for PROFIBUS, and now for PROFINET. Our usual comparison is to printer drivers. A GSD file tells the software system what features, I/O, alarms, and diagnostic capabilities a device has. It resides in the engineering tool, not in the device itself. A printer driver is…

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May 16


Are you new to PROFIBUS? Ready to start a new PROFIBUS project? Are you required to troubleshoot and maintain a PROFIBUS network? Here are some suggestions to learn about PROFIBUS: Read about PROFIBUS. The best place to start is the 36-page System Description: PROFIBUS Technology and Application. It’s contents: Chapter 1 contains an introduction to…

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Apr 18


Every year PI conducts an audited count of new nodes installed for PROFINET, PROFIBUS, PROFI in Process, PROFIsafe, and more. No other organization does this, so any numbers you see for nodes of EtherNet/IP or EtherCAT are estimates. The count is conducted by an independent third party. He sends a request to device makers who…

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Dec 16

Top 5 Reasons Your PROFIBUS Network Failed

There are more PROFIBUS DP fieldbus nodes installed than any other network (by a huge margin). But that doesn’t mean there won’t be a problem with the network.  The experts point to these five common problems: 1. Terminator.  The number one most common problem – the cable ends at a PROFIBUS device connected with a…

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Jul 14

Catching the Process Fieldbus 2nd edition

The second edition of this classic work adds valuable information about PROFINET’s role in process automation, supplementing the widely-used PROFIBUS protocol.  With some theory and a lot of practical experience presented, this book is THE place to start learning about PROFIBUS and PROFINET for process. …so it says on the back cover of Catching the…

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May 12

Also Catching the Process Fieldbus

I have often recommended James Powell’s Catching the Process Fieldbus: An Introduction to Profibus for Process Automation.  It’s a great start to understanding PROFIBUS.  I’ve even previously blogged about it as “Catching the Process Fieldbus.” It’s been available at Amazon as a hardcover. And we’ve given some away as raffle prizes at one-day training classes. …

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Dec 16

Will PROFIBUS Ever Die? Expanded Post.

Perhaps some explanation of the “no” answer is in order: PROFIBUS can’t be killed no matter what. The installed base is too big (the biggest of any serial fieldbus) and it continues to grow every year. We continue to see manufacturers add PROFIBUS to their automation products. Companies with PROFIBUS installed continue to add more…

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