Apr 18


Every year PI conducts an audited count of new nodes installed for PROFINET, PROFIBUS, PROFI in Process, PROFIsafe, and more. No other organization does this, so any numbers you see for nodes of EtherNet/IP or EtherCAT are estimates. The count is conducted by an independent third party. He sends a request to device makers who…
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Apr 11

Completing a PROFINET Project

What’s the logical sequence to use to describe PROFINET? For the one-day training classes, we put everything in the context of the PROFINET of Things (IIoT and Industrie 4.0). For the PROFINET introduction webinar, we went from definition to use in application spaces (factory, process, motion) to features. For the PROFINET System Description, we moved…
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Apr 4

PROFINET is 100% Buzzword Compliant

In order for your product or technology to succeed you have to be able to “check the right boxes.” PROFINET checks all the right boxes making it 100% buzzword compliant. These are some of the buzzwords we encounter in industrial automation today: Ethernet, Real-Time, TSN, Big Data, Analytics, Industrial Internet of Things, and Industrie 4.0.…
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Mar 28

IO-Link versus AS-i

You’re designing a new machine. Should you use IO-Link or AS-interface (AS-i)? Yes. Yes, you should use the one appropriate to the task at hand. There’s never a substitute for doing the engineering. Use AS-i for: A long string of pushbuttons (as along a conveyor). A long string of Emergency Stop pushbuttons (as along a…
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Mar 21

PROFINET Can (Still) Use a Cheap Switch

If you want to get someone to remember something you can’t repeat it too many times. Case in point: I saw another new blog post from someone who thinks you cannot use a standard Ethernet switch for PROFINET.    YOU CAN! Seven years ago, I blogged that PROFINET can use a Best Buy Ethernet Switch, really?…
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Mar 14

Where Networks Fit in the IIoT

There has been a raft of articles about networks and their place in the Industrial Internet of Things. Basically, IIoT is at the intersection of IoT and Industrie 4.0. Here’s a 46-second video reminder of how the relate. There were three articles that caught my attention: 1. Modbus As an IoT Protocol??? John Rinaldi makes…
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Mar 7

What Should I Do about TSN?

TSN = Time Sensitive Networking. It’s a catchall name for a series of new standards whose goal is to improve determinism in “standard” Ethernet networks. It grew out of the needs of Audio/Visual delivery. Naturally, a new organization grew to further the effort: “The Avnu Alliance is a community creating an interoperable ecosystem servicing the…
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Feb 28

Choosing an Industrial Ethernet, a Checklist

What should you look for when choosing an Industrial Ethernet? These things: Is it an open standard? Can anyone build products for it? PROFINET is an open standard. It’s part of IEC 61158. Anyone can buy the spec from IEC and build products. To build an EtherNet/IP product, you must sign a contract with ODVA,…
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Feb 21

7 Steps to IIoT

I saw a recent magazine article outlining six steps to take to implement the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). It was mostly political – form a team, get buy-in from a C-level executive, etc. It’s not that I think the political approach is not valuable, but most of us live in a technical world. So…
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Feb 14

Spring – When a Young Man's Fancy Turns to PROFINET

Yesterday was the official start of spring (because that’s when pitchers and catchers reported for baseball’s Spring Training). There are a lot of similarities between baseball and PROFINET: Green.  They are both associated with the color green. Green grass on which to play baseball; green cable over which to send PROFINET. Pitch speed. Some pitchers’…
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