PROFINET one-day training class – What is it like?

I’m sure you’ve been wondering what a PROFINET one-day training class is like.  (Unless you’re one of the thousands of folks who have already attended one.)  Here’s what happens:

Badge pickup and onsite registration begin early on class day, like 7:00am.  The class does not start until 8:30 but some folks arrive very early, perhaps to beat traffic.  Some vendor exhibitors are setting up their tabletop displays then.  (We setup the night before: testing the demos and AV equipment and putting out the training manuals.)  A continental breakfast is offered before the class starts.

We start with a preview of the day – logistics, agenda, learning outcomes.  The exhibitors introduce themselves and announce what PROFINET products they have on display.  We’ve found that the students genuinely appreciate having the vendors in the room so they can see a diversity of PROFINET products.

After a brief introduction to the organization behind the technology, we review some basic concepts: fieldbus, Ethernet, and Industrial Ethernet.  PROFINET’s five steps to achieving deterministic behavior are presented.  Like some of the other topics we cover, a user does not necessarily need to know this to use the technology, but Control Engineers are curious folk who want to know how things work.

We spend most of the day in the “how to” sections.  How to use PROFINET in discrete automation, process, and motion covers the breadth of PROFINET.  Then we dive into the depth of PROFINET showing features that some users need.  Demonstrations are provided for some of the “how-to’s”.  We pepper the presentations with videos.  Mixing the media helps student’s attention spans and gives our voices a brief rest.

We end the day with a summary and a list of resources available.  Class is dismissed about 4:00 pm (plus or minus depending on the number of questions).

Throughout the day we query the class with pop quizzes.  A correct answer earns the student a “valuable prize.”  Mid-morning and mid-afternoon we take breaks for refreshments.  I’m particularly fond of the chocolate chip cookies during the afternoon break.  We host a lunch at noon.  During the breaks and after lunch the students get the chance to visit the exhibits.

I hope to see you at an upcoming PROFINET class!

–Carl Henning