PROFINET Optional Features

All PROFINET products are developed according to international standards and certified by PROFIBUS and PROFINET International (PI). Aside from the mandatory characteristics in each PROFINET device, PI defines a list of optional features.

The next section covers a brief definition of several PROFINET optional features. The list below is not comprehensive, but it includes the most commonly used PROFINET optional features. Since all the features below are optional, users must check with their device manufacturer to confirm availability.  Also, if you are looking for more in-depth information, we have a full White Paper on PROFINET Optional Features.

Optional Features:

Simple Device Replacement: The Simple Device Replacement feature is unique within the industry. It allows users to replace PROFINET devices in a fast and effortless manner. If a device fails, the failed device can be replaced with a new device without any user configuration.

Device Specific Diagnostics: PI provides a standard error list that can be implemented in PROFINET devices. As a result, some devices offer a series of additional diagnostics options that are defined in their GSD file. During configuration, the user selects the device-specific diagnostics they want to use.

I-Device: The I-Device feature operates on the controller level. This feature allows a controller to be both a device and controller simultaneously, enabling controller to controller (C2C) communication with PROFINET.

Shared Device: Shared Device is a device feature. With this feature, a device can support multiple and simultaneous controller connections. When configuring a Shared Device, users can set up input and output modules to be exclusive for a particular controller. Also, they can set up shared inputs.

Media Redundancy: Ring topologies establish media redundancy. If a wire breaks in one section of the ring, there is a secondary connection to the network. Generally, Ethernet should not be connected in a ring without performing some sort of management. PROFINET offers a solution by managing ring topologies with two defined media redundancy classes: Media Redundancy Protocol (MRP) and Media Redundancy for Planned Duplication (MRPD).

Device Redundancy: A PROFINET network with device redundancy has a singular controller connected to multiple devices. The controller establishes a connection to both devices simultaneously and sends the same output data to both devices. However, it marks the data sent to the secondary device as “invalid”.

Controller Redundancy: A PROFINET network with controller redundancy has more than one controller connected to a device simultaneously. In the presence of two controllers, the first one establishes a primary connection, and the second controller establishes a “backup” connection.

Network Redundancy: Network redundancy allows a network to continue running after a subnet failure by swapping communication to a second subnet.

Dynamic Reconfiguration (DR): DR allows users to reconfigure, insert, remove, or replace devices or modules without stopping the control application. There is no need to shut down or interrupt the network for plant repairs, modifications, or expansions.

iPar Server: Aside from the parameters defined by the GSD file, some devices require additional configuration. They require dynamic parameters (iParameters) for device and plant-specific data. iPar Servers automatically save and restore iParameters. If a user replaces a device, the iPar Server restores the parameters in the new device.

Fast Startup: The FSU feature allows devices to go instantly into a ‘power on’ state in response to signals from the controller. PROFINET FSU defines the time between ‘power on’ and receipt of the first cyclic input data
to be less than 500 ms.

Time Stamping: Certain applications require the ability to assign alarms and status messages to a sequence of events. For this purpose, an optional time stamping of these messages is possible in PROFINET.

Application Profiles: PROFINET Application Profiles are vendor-independent specifications; they are implemented into PROFINET devices to enable the uniform behavior of devices from different manufacturers. There are over a dozen PROFINET Application Profiles, such as PROFIsafe, PROFIenergy, PROFIdrive, and PROFINET PA.

More Information

Read the full White Paper: PROFINET Optional Features

PROFINET Optional Features: Overview and Use Cases

-Nelly Ayllon