White Papers

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PROFINET Cabling: Overview and Implementation Considerations

Even though wireless access points are becoming more popular, most of today’s network connections are wired and require cabling. PROFINET cable manufacturers offer a range of cable types and classes for different applications, including those with special properties. These cables come in two flavors: copper and fiber optics.

PROFIBUS vs PROFINET: Comparison and Migration Strategies

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PROFIBUS is a classical serial fieldbus and PROFINET is an industrial Ethernet standard. They share similarities due to their common source, but PROFINET has additional capabilities that allow faster and more flexible communication. This white paper will explore the differences between them and explain migration strategies from PROFIBUS to PROFINET.

PROFINET – The Solution Platform for Process Automation

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Industrial communication is one of the key technologies for modern automation. It provides control and monitoring of machines and manufacturing and productions processes, the connection of insular solutions, and the linking of neighbor areas such as logistics, quality assurance, and maintenance and to higher-level company systems. In Industrie 4.0, Industrial Internet of Things, and Big Data environments, industrial communication is of central importance. Easy-to-handle solutions with high performance capability for real-time communications, high availability, flexible topologies, and integration – even over great distances – are needed to make use of the many possibilities of the digital world.

This white paper reports which functions and capabilities of PROFINET are currently meeting the demands of process automation and which can be implemented and then used in products in the future, based on specifications that are complete or in progress.

PROFINET of Things

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PROFINET is foundational to the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) which lies in the overlap of the Internet of Things (IoT) and Industrie 4.0. There are differences between IoT and IIoT. This paper will extend that into the PROFINET of Things. Not just any Industrial Ethernet can claim to be foundational to IIoT; here are the benefits of PROFINET that differentiate it from the others – all in the context of IIoT.

PROFIBUS for Process Reprint

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Whether or not a new path is better is often decided only after it has been tread. Without new paths, however, there is no progress. This principle applies especially nowadays to the field of automation engineering, particularly in light of the much discussed innovative activities related to the terms “Cyber Physical Systems”, “Internet of Things”, and “Industry 4.0”. In spite of the hype surrounding these terms, there are in fact very concrete objectives out there whose purpose is to increase the efficiency, speed, flexibility, and safety of the process industry.

This magazine reprint provides 20 pages of benefits of using PROFIBUS with links to relevant videos.

PROFINET versus EtherNet/IP

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PI North America has often been called upon to compare PROFINET and EtherNet/IP. This white paper answers that call.

Disclaimer: we are not experts at EtherNet/IP, but we've researched publicly available information. Consider this document our opinion of the differences.

IT Professional’s Guide to Industrial Ethernet

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What are the five critical things an IT professional needs to know about bringing Ethernet to the plant floor?

It's important that IT professionals and automation engineers work together to create a robust, secure Ethernet infrastructure for the factory. This white paper can help.

6 PROFINET Myths – and the much better realities

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As more factory automation and process control applications advance from serial fieldbus communications to Ethernet based communications, there is confusion about the truths associated with Industrial Ethernet. Industrial Ethernet is not just one thing; it actually comes in more than one ‘flavor’, or protocol. Oftentimes, the lack of transparency surrounding one Industrial Ethernet protocol bleeds over into the information regarding another. Read this White Paper to find out what is myth and what is reality.

Ethernet Switches: Managed vs. Unmanaged for PROFINET

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Nearly all PROFINET devices have two ports on them, and behind these two ports is a switch. This makes it easy to create a Line topology. But there are often instances, where a Star topology would be a more efficient solution. To accomplish this, an external dedicated switch is required.

6 Reasons to Give PROFIBUS PA Another Look

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With over 8 million nodes installed, thousands of applications, and over a decade's worth of experience, users are installing PROFIBUS as the network of choice in the chemical, pharmaceutical, food processing, bio-gas, offshore oil production, and mining industries.

The 7 Step Industrial Ethernet Checklist

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In today’s information-age, it should be easier than ever to make decisions based on the technical merit of an automation backbone, instead of following a particular vendor’s Industrial Ethernet protocol of choice.

PROFINET for network geeks (and those who want to be)

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Have you heard of the seven-layer stack used to define network functionality? It collapses to four layers in the Ethernet world… and PROFINET does not need all four of those. This illustrated white paper provides insight into the layers and how they are used.

Six PROFINET Highlights

This brief white paper highlights six of PROFINET's benefits: diagnostics, energy management, performance, security, wireless, and safety.

Time to migrate to Industrial Ethernet

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Users of industrial Ethernet in general and PROFINET in particular can realize greater productivity in several ways. One is by way of more flexibility, using wireless PLCs and mixing topologies, to tailor plant layouts for optimal output instead of having to adapt output to plant layouts. Another is greater efficiency, thanks to standardized cabling and plug-and-play parts and energy savings. The third is improved overall performance, given faster transmission speeds, much larger data packets, and greater precision control.

Profibus and Modbus: a comparison

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We live in a multi-protocol world – and this will likely not change anytime soon. Different protocols work better in different applications. I have not come to bury Modbus or Profibus, nor to praise them, but rather to add some perspective and knowledge. An introduction is provided to each technology on the basic underpinnings. This is followed by application examples and finally a side-by-side comparison.

Guide to Implementing PROFIBUS PA Field Devices

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This White Paper discusses the individual hardware and software aspects of implementing a PROFIBUS PA field device. This goal can be reached by following implementation approaches based on using pre-engineered hardware and software components.

Four-Pair PROFINET Cabling

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Today, Industrial Ethernet is being very successfully used in the automation environment to establish communication between devices. Four-pair PROFINET cables can address more demanding plant and system concepts and provide a technology that is fit for the future.


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“PROFINET or the Story of Pretty Polly, Sweet SUE, and the White Knight” – our myth-debunking, fact-conveying, whimsical-graphics, straightforward-text about PROFINET. It corrects the mistaken impressions spread about PROFINET and highlights its many benefits.

Drives and Motion with PROFINET

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This “Drive Technology with PROFINET” has a comprehensive range of applications, scalable performance with cycle times as short as a few μs, and user-friendly, cost-effective implementation. This makes it the ideal solution for all drive tasks.

PROFIenergy Study

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"University of Cologne AIT; PROFIenergy Study" details the study performed at an automotive plant of energy consumption. It presents real quantitative data and the significant potential savings of using PROFIenergy.

Share Our Vision

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What results can be achieved using the combination of PROFIBUS and PROFINET? We invite you to Share Our Vision.

Tool Calling Interface

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Tool Calling Interface. Device tools perform user functions such as parameterization and diagnostics directly from the automation-system engineering tool. Device tools are based on a Tool Calling Interface (TCI).


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MES and PROFINET. The PROFINET and MES Maintenance Operations guideline of PI (PROFIBUS & PROFINET International) defines an open integration path between MES and PROFINET based automation systems.


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The white paper, PROFINET and IT, describes PROFINET in IT terms and shows how PROFINET relates to IT topology. The adaptations required of Industrial Ethernet for environmental and functional purposes are described.

PROFINET in Context

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Successful applications and rapid growth of the installed base are highlighted in PROFINET in Context. Read this short white paper for an introduction to PROFINET.

Why Use a Fieldbus?

"Why Use a Fieldbus?" The number one reason people don't use a fieldbus is that they don't know about them. Most likely they haven't been told of the benefits. This White Paper remedies that!