SPS/IPC/Drives 2015 – Impressions

This year’s SPS/IPC/Drives, in my humble opinion, was one of the most exciting ever. With so many important announcements going on, it seemed like a non-stop barrage of news.

First was the announcement about cooperation with CC-Link IE. This cooperation is singularly about the end-users, and making their lives easier. By specifying a “coupler” to connect machines, and a “link” to integrate devices, an end-user can now easily install a CC-Link equipped machine or device in their wider PROFINET network.

Second was the announcement about the cooperation with OPC UA. This cooperation is also about making our end-user’s lives easier, but from a different perspective. Instead of connectivity at the field level, OPC UA provides connectivity to higher levels like MES/SCADA systems.

PI Press Conference

And while “PROFINET – the Backbone for Industrie 4.0” isn’t so much an announcement as a slogan, there actually is a real message there. Unlike the (relatively ambiguous) phrase ‘IIoT’, Industrie 4.0 has some concrete specifications and standards attached to it. These standards include PROFINET. And that is the really exciting part. Because when a government throws money at a problem, companies tend to listen, and such is the case with Industrie 4.0.