PROFINET News from SPS/IPC/Drives 2011

The PROFINET news that jumped out at me included controllers and chips.  The PROFINET wall featured more controllers than ever.  Of course there were controllers from Siemens and Phoenix Contact.  And we’ve seen Omron with PROFINET… and ABB.  But this is the first year I’ve seen controllers from PI North America members Mitsubishi and GE Intelligent Platforms on the wall.

GE Intelligent Platforms was also the recipient of the 500th product certificate.  All PROFINET products are required to be tested and certified in one of our accredited test labs.  The certified product is the VersaMAX PROFINET IO scanner. Marcel van Helten, General Manager of GE Intelligent Platforms Germany at the PI Wednesday morning press conference explained why they chose PROFINET.  He pointed out that for them PROFINET was not “just another network on the list” but the only network.  Their selection was based on the openness of the specification, the ability to participate in the creation of the spec, and the global support provided by PI.  There is more information in a press release on the GE website.

Speaking of product testing and certification, our worldwide resources continue to grow.  We now have 27 Regional PI Associations (like PI North America), 43 PI Competence Centers, 23 PI Training Centers, and 10 PI Test Labs.  As PI Chairman Jörg Freitag says “Our network gives our member companies throughout the world a decisive competitive advantage.”  And by “network” we can include PROFIBUS, PROFINET, AND the people network.

The installed base of PROFINET devices also continues to grow.  I expect we will maintain our roughly one third share of the Industrial Ethernet market.  (The other two thirds are equally divided between Ethernet/IP and “Other.”)  And as noted in an earlier post “Double Your Pleasure, Double Your PROFINET,” usage in North America is expected to double in coming years.

More news from the SPS/IPC/Drives Show soon, but at noon I get on a plane for Chicago and our PROFINET one-day training class in Schaumberg, IL on Tuesday.  Come on over if you get a chance.  Details and a link to registration here.  Whew!  Last class of the year for me, although there is one more PROFIBUS class in Sand Diego.

–Carl Henning