SPS Show Report 2010, PROFIBUS and PROFINET News

PI schedules a press conference at every SPS/IPC/Drives Show to highlight the news.  The news this time included PROFINET in Process Automation, PROFIenergy Certification, and IO-Link standardization.

PROFINET in Process Automation.  PROFIBUS DP has long been a backbone for PROFIBUS PA.  PROFIBUS DP and PROFIBUS PA use the same protocol but have different physical layers.  PROFIBUS PA’s is suitable for hazardous environments.  Since there is no standard for Industrial Ethernet in those environments, PROFIBUS PA will be around for a long time.  But many users find the idea of an Industrial Ethernet backbone for PROFIBUS PA desirable (replacing PROFIBUS DP there).  Now they can use PROFINET for that backbone.  Process industry needs led us to consider these four requirements in the PROFINET for Process Automation application profile:

  1. Integration of existing fieldbuses
  2. Configuration in Run
  3. Time synchronization and time stamping
  4. Scalable redundancy

1. Existing fieldbuses are integrated using PROFINET proxies.  A proxy is like a gateway but is part of the PROFINET specification as opposed to the creation of an individual company.  Proxies are specified for PROFIBUS PA, Foundation Fieldbus, and HART in addition to discrete fieldbuses.

2. Because process plants run continuously, a controller cannot be stopped to make a program change.  PROFINET’s Configuration-in-Run allows this.

3. Process data must be time-stamped and time synchronization must be applied for consistency.  This is provided for in the application profile.

4. There are several types of redundancy to consider: media redundancy, like redundant rings, and system redundancy, sometimes called hot fail-over.  PROFINET already provided media redundancy, but system redundancy has now been added.

You can read the full PROFINET in Process Automation press release online.

PROFIenergy Certification.  With the PROFIenergy specification completed and products becoming available, formalization of the certification test procedure was required.  The certification tests are now defined and can be used by PI’s certified test labs.  At SPS certificates for the first two products were presented.  The press release for “Certification for PROFIenergy Finalized” is available online.

IO-Link standardization.  The IO-Link specification has been published by the IEC as IEC 61131-9 (Committee Draft).  During the course of standardization, additional user requirements were incorporated in version 1.1 of the specification, including:

  • Optimization of performance for large data quantities
  • Parameter data management for simple device replacement without tool
  • Improved diagnostics

Additional information in “IO-Link on the way to becoming an international IEC standard” online.

Other press releases included:

“PROFINET tools available free of charge” The GSD checker has been available for some time and a PROFINET test tool was recently released.  These are available without charge to PI members.

“PROFIBUS PA Profile V3.02 has passed the field test” PROFIBUS PA profile 3.02 is exciting in its own right since it allows a process instrument of one manufacturer to be replaced with one from a different manufacturer without tools!  This has now been extensively tested.

“Successful standardization activities in China” China is a hugely successful market for PROFIBUS and PROFINET and the inclusion of PROFINET IO and PROFIdrive as Chinese National Standards is an important accomplishment.

–Carl Henning