Revised, Revisited, and Huh?

Revised.  I blogged about the PROFINET Developer Workshop we’re holding in October.  We have more details now – the five largest providers of PROFINET developer tools and technology are now confirmed presenters (and exhibitors) at the workshop:

  • Hilscher North America, Inc.
  • HMS Industrial Networks, Inc.
  • Real Time Automation
  • Siemens Energy & Automation
  • Softing North America

You can get more details and register here.

Revisited.  Speaking of Asset Management as I was a week ago, I found this quote from Greg Hale’s blog apropos: “This is not a bleeding edge technology; a manufacturer can do asset management today.”  Indeed, PROFIBUS and PROFINET enable it – and have for a long time.

Revisited, too.  “Control engineers vs. IT” should be “control engineers and IT cooperate” as I’ve blogged and blogged.  Control Engineering sponsored a webcast recently where the final question was the “philosophical” question of who should “own” the Industrial Ethernet network.  This was obviously a touchy subject, but the answers were good.  It began with the observation that some large companies have achieved cooperation between the two – IT is fully versed on Industrial Ethernet protocols.  And sadly some IT departments are strictly “white-box focused.”  Another presenter commented that users should at least use managed switches so someone can remotely monitor them.  If that someone is in IT they may be happy monitoring using the Cisco tools they’re familiar with while the control engineer would be happy using OPC and an HMI.  (I know some of the industrial switches do have OPC servers built in.)  The whole webcast was switch-centric, but they did mention some of the Industrial Ethernet protocols.  Unfortunately, that part of the presentation left people with the impression that PROFINET was PROFIBUS on Ethernet.  ARGH!  PROFINET is more than that.

Automation World also recently had a webcast: “Taking Ethernet to the I/O”.  There was a little confusion about PROFINET there, too.  One of the presenters talked about the motion control aspect of PROFINET as PROFINET RT (for Real Time); the motion control aspect is really called PROFINET IRT (for Isochronous Real Time).

Huh?  An article in the June issue of Automation World, “Ethernet/ip gains momentum” quotes ODVA stating the number of Ethernet/IP nodes shipped, the number of companies with products, and the number of products.  Intrigued by the number of companies and products listed, I checked the ODVA online Ethernet/IP catalog and found:

The press release says 150 companies.  The catalog lists 29.

The press release says 400 products.  The catalog lists 62.

The press release says a million nodes. …

Huh?  What am I missing here?