May 21

Go with the Network that Works

I enjoy working with editors from the trade press – contributing to whatever topic they’re writing about.  Of course, they have limited space in which to present their topic and they have to include viewpoints from multiple sources.  Having neither of those restrictions here let me provide some additional background to a recent article by…

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May 7

Fieldbuses, down; Industrial Ethernets, up?

Fieldbuses are down and Industrial Ethernets are up?  Is that what a new IMS Research study shows (How Sustainable is an Industrial Fieldbus Infrastructure?)?  Or, as Larry O’Brien put it in his blog post (What’s in a Node? Putting Market Research in Perspective): “[T]he study results have caused quite a stir in the media because…

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Feb 4

Are FOUNDATION fieldbus and PROFIBUS PA the same thing?

Are FOUNDATION fieldbus and PROFIBUS PA the same thing? is the title of an excellent blog post on the Pepperl+Fuchs USA Blog.  In fact, I liked the title so well I “borrowed” it to title this post. The short answer to the question is “no.”  But there are some nuances. PROFIBUS PA and Foundation Fieldbus…

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Jan 28

Another PROFI Milestone

Any history buff’s out there?  We just published a bit of a retrospective of the PI organization viewed through the lens of newsletters past.  PI began publishing PROFINEWS to an international audience almost 20 years ago, in 1994, more specifically.  View the commemorative Issue 100.  Relive the early days of PROFIBUS and PROFINET in the…

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Jan 15

Catching the Process Fieldbus

This is an updated, edited version of the book review post from March of 2009. 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. …

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Nov 26

Fieldbuses – it’s a competition, not a war

Fieldbuses – it’s a competition, not a war – I said back in 2006 in The Great Thing about Standards is… in defense of competing fieldbus and Industrial Ethernet standards. Now my friend James Powell weighs in with a similar conclusion in Selecting an open digital protocol in process automation. He begins: “If you want…

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Nov 9

Automotive Instigates PROFIBUS, then PROFINET

At the PI North America General Assembly Meeting last month we had an automotive theme.  This put me in a reflective mood, thinking about the roots of PROFI. In 1989 the German automotive industry asked the government to help them by creating a fieldbus.  Thirteen companies and 5 universities responded to the call and created…

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Apr 3

Slap! I could have had a …

Slap! I could have had a … no, not a V-8, a PROFINET backbone.  That was the reaction of a student at the Greenville PROFINET one-day training class who recently installed a PROFIBUS DP backbone.  Well, actually, what he wrote on the Course Evaluation form under the “In greater detail” section was: “PROFIBUS vs. PROFINET. …

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Mar 15

Fieldbuses Are No Good

Fieldbuses are no good?  (I can’t believe I said that.*)  But you might think that if you’ve read some recent articles on ControlGlobal. The two-part series titled “The Fieldbus Jungle” reminds us that fieldbuses are not all unicorns and rainbows, but the articles come across as too cautionary.   (Reference: The Fieldbus Jungle Part 1. The…

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Feb 10


I always come into the transition from one year to the next thinking “I’m off the road; I can get caught up on blogging.”  Good theory. Instead I’ve been scrambling to get ready for our PROFINET and PROFIBUS one-day training classes for 2011.  The PROFINET Training Manuals are at the printers; the CDs are pressed. …

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