PROFINET and PROFIBUS Rock! At least that’s my opinion after the recently-concluded PI North America General Assembly Meeting. Other attendees have hopefully come to a similar conclusion. I may be slightly biased since my responsibility was putting together the program… again. And I have to admit that I did a great job. Or, rather, this year’s presenters did great jobs.

Mike kicked off the event with a welcome and introductions, followed by his state-of-the-organization presentation. Highlight: he reviewed our mission and purpose. Our purpose: educate and assist. Educate the market about the technologies. Assist device makers in adding PROFINET and PROFIBUS to their products.

We then heard from Hunter of the PROFI Interface Center (PIC), standing in for Torsten. We gave Torsten an “excused absence” since he just had a baby. Hunter pointed out that a larger number of products passed through their certified test lab this year. And the PROFINET Certified Network Engineer class features all new equipment this year.

Karsten Schneider, PI Chairman, reminded us of the Working Group structure and trade shows. Any member of PI North America can participate in both. Recent and coming-soon output from the Working Groups was presented. PROFINET version 2.3 has received some tweaks to fix definitions and clarify interpretations.

PI North America staff finished out the first morning, updating members on performance this year and plans for next. All our programs are doing well of course. We handed out a checklist to help members get the most out of their membership. This single page is one of the important take-aways from the meeting, I think.

That takes us through the first morning. I’ll cover some of the other sessions in the coming days.

–Carl Henning