PROFINET Optional Features – Q&A Block

Did you miss the PROFINET Optional Features webinar? We got you covered. You can watch the whole webinar recording and go over the slide set here. This webinar explains several PROFINET optional features, such as Device Redundancy, Shared Device, Dynamic Reconfiguration, Fast Startup, iPar Server, and Time Stamping.

During the live session, we got several interesting questions which we would like to share with you…

PROFINET Optional Features Q&A Block

Can all PROFINET conformance classes support Application Profiles?

Yes, all PROFINET conformance classes (A, B, and C) can support application profiles, such as PROFIsafe, PROFIenergy, and PROFIdrive.

You mentioned time synchronization and time stamping. Do those features come together?

Not necessarily. Components might support one or both of these features. Since these features relate to each other, we explained them together during the webinar.

With Asset Management records, how do you add non-PROFINET device information?

Asset Management is an additional PROFINET feature for providing information such as firmware and hardware versions, from devices outside the PROFINET address space. Asset Management is based on I&M (Identification & Maintenance) and works with standardized data sets. The users need to enter such data manually since the information is not provided automatically. Once set up, the Asset Management record is saved in the device.

Do devices need to support i-Par server functionality?

The i-Par server functionality is implemented on the controller side. Also, it is possible to implement the i-Par server functionality on independent components, which sit on the network as local servers.

Can you add PROFIsafe to existing PROFINET devices?

Yes, but it depends on the device manufacturer. First, there should be a version of the current device that supports PROFIsafe. Then, if that version exists, the device manufacturer may offer the option to add the PROFIsafe capability with a firmware/software update.

What networking equipment do you need for setting up a PROFINET over Wi-Fi connection?

Since PROFINET is based on standard Ethernet, it does not require specialized networking hardware. For wireless connections or Wi-Fi connections specifically, you would need Wireless Access Points (WAPs). WAPs are networking hardware devices that allow wireless capable devices and wired networks to connect through a wireless standard. WAPs can be standalone devices or built-into other devices. For example, some PROFINET devices act as a WAP aside from their I/O functions.

Even though specialized industrial WAPs are not a requirement, they are recommended. Industrial WAPs are robust and rugged devices. They can withstand a factory setting and might offer unique additional features. Learn more here

How will TSN change or expand the current PROFINET features?

TSN or Time Sensitive Networking aims to make Ethernet deterministic by default. From a PROFINET standpoint, TSN is a new communication channel, such as PROFINET Real-time (RT) or Isochronous real-time (IRT). Real-time and deterministic performance characterize the TSN communication channel. If you would like to learn more about PROFINET over TSN, this page has a lot of good information:

Is there a profile for HART devices in a PROFINET network?

No, there is no application profile for HART devices in PROFINET networks. However, there are proxies for HART to PROFINET communication. If you need to use HART in your PROFINET network, you can do it seamlessly with a proxy.

I have seen mention of CC-B (PA), is this an actual conformance class?

That term refers to a device from Conformance Class B that is part of the Process Automation Application Class. This class includes a number of high availability and process-oriented optional features, such as time synchronization, media redundancy, and dynamic reconfiguration.

-Nelly Ayllon

Full webinar recording =>

Beyond the Basics: PROFINET Optional Features