PROFINET in Austin

There were 45 of us in Austin for the PROFINET one-day training class.  Not many compared to the previous day’s PROFIBUS class in Pittsburgh with 102, but still a very engaged group posing lots of questions for us. So many questions that we did not finish until 5:00 pm!  Despite the late finish, most thought the length just right (3 too long, 1 too short).

It’s always interesting to see the attendees’ reactions on the Course Evaluation forms:

A few folks wanted more on wireless.  I’ll refer them to the Wireless webinar.

Some wanted more on IRT – Isochronous Real Time, typically used for motion control and occasionally for very high speed IO.  In fact there many questions related to IRT during the course.  I think this was because we had a lot of device manufacturers in attendance.  In fact we were asked about a course specific to PROFINET Developers.  We had one n Detroit earlier in the year, but don’t have more scheduled in 2009.  We are considering a webinar or two to cover that ground though.  And we’re always willing to help one-on-one.

We were asked to provide more on security, but the time is just not there.  We do provide an extensive list of outside resources though.

One person asked us to talk about advantages of other standards.  It’s interesting that he thought that the other standards had any advantages.  [There’s that weird sense of humor that gets me in trouble.]  Actually we did cover them – we just did not dwell on them.

We had mixed reviews on the demos.  Some thought them too long.  One said “Demo explanation/preamble could be improved.”  But we also had some very positive comments: “On programming side configuring master controller devices was great.”

In the category of constructive criticism:
“Some acronyms were not defined.”  [I wish I knew where; we try hard to define them all.  Hopefully another review of the material will reveal them.]
“Some sections were too detailed.”  [I wish I knew where to trim.]
“Too much left at end of day.”  [I think the only topic that got shorted was Security and that not by much.]

The good stuff:
“Course material: the best I’ve seen.”
“Liked quizzes – keeps us thinking and awake.”
“Well presented.”
“Great information.”
“Great course.”
“Perfect intro training on this technology.”
“Slides and manual are great.”
“Good food/snacks, nice room, like the quizzes and raffles.”

Serendipitous discovery at the class: Phoenix Contact has a PROFIBUS proxy with built-in 4-port Ethernet switch.  Is this the beginning of a trend toward more devices with switches – with more switch ports built in?

I’m finishing this on the train from Frankfurt to Hanover for Hanover Fair.  The train is running 45 minutes late due to signal problems.  This is the first time I’ve experienced a late German train.  My late flight from DFW to Frankfurt, on the other hand, is not a first (only 3 hours late leaving).  Sigh, the joys of traveling. 

Will this be the year I finally blog more contemporaneously about the fair?  Will I have time after the fair, dinner meetings (and sleeping)?  Stay tuned.