PROFIBUS and PROFINET International (PI) working groups develop Application profiles to ensure the openness, interoperability, and interchangeability of devices. PROFINET Application Profiles are vendor-independent specifications. They are implemented into PROFINET devices to enable the uniform behavior of devices from different manufacturers. These Application Profiles relate to device families or unique industry sector solutions.
Application Profiles are not part of the mandatory characteristics in all PROFINET devices. Their implementation is optional. If a device manufacturer implements an Application Profile in a product, then they must integrate the Application Profile’s specification. An Application Profile specifies features that “profile devices” must exhibit to meet the Profile specification. Application Profiles describe sets of properties for all devices in the class.
In general, there are two groups of Application Profiles:
- General Application Profiles: Used for different applications, such as functional safety and energy management
- Specific Application Profiles: Developed in each case only for a specific type of application, such as drives, encoders, or process automation devices
Application Profiles are an additional layer above the PROFINET protocol, as shown in the figure below; they do not interfere with or modify the standard PROFINET services. Several Application Profiles have been specified for both PROFINET and PROFIBUS.
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