competitive comparison

Mar 24

Choose the Network First

In the Atlanta PROFINET one-day training class, someone was asking about using PROFINET with a controller that does not natively support it.  The unusual part of this is that only one controller maker does not support PROFINET natively (you have to use a gateway).  That’s what happens when you pick the controller supplier before picking…

Read More
Feb 24


First, a disclaimer, and no surprise: I may be slightly biased in favor of PROFINET. That said, I believe the following facts to be actual facts. While this post could expand to thousands of words, this will be the Readers Digest version: Organization. PI ODVA Regional Associations 27 4 Members 1,487 300 Training centers 28…

Read More
Nov 11

PROFINET Can Multicast. But Why Do It?

There was a recent blog post over at Schneider called “It’s all about choice: EtherNet/IP and unicast and multicast traffic.” You can follow the link to read the whole thing but the gist of it is: “PROFINET people think EtherNet/IP cannot unicast, but it can do both multicast and unicast. PROFINET can only unicast. So…

Read More
Apr 1

PROFINET Fuddy-Duddy

A fuddy-duddy is someone who is old-fashioned and conservative almost to the point of eccentricity or geekiness. I fail to see how old-fashioned and geekiness can be used in the same definition. But I just used “fuddy-duddy” because it sounds interesting and it contains “FUD.” FUD, you may recall, stands for Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt….

Read More
Nov 26

Fieldbuses – it’s a competition, not a war

Fieldbuses – it’s a competition, not a war – I said back in 2006 in The Great Thing about Standards is… in defense of competing fieldbus and Industrial Ethernet standards. Now my friend James Powell weighs in with a similar conclusion in Selecting an open digital protocol in process automation. He begins: “If you want…

Read More
Jul 31

The EtherNet/IP FUD-sicle – Melted Again

The EtherNet/IP folks just can’t stop talking about PROFINET… and just can’t stop getting it wrong.  It’s almost like they’re deliberately misrepresenting PROFINET.  The latest example is in the Industrial Ethernet Book article “Working successful motion control via standard Ethernet.” The article has no new FUD*; I’ve been calling them out on this same thing…

Read More
Apr 14

What is a Node?

One of the questions that came up in the market share discussion over at Gary Mintchell’s Feed Forward blog (Ethernet in Manufacturing and Automation) centered on the definition of a node.  Thanks to a telephone conversation with the author of the study that sparked it all, John Morse of IMS Research, I can answer some…

Read More
Apr 12

Ethernet Is the Industrial Network of the Future

My blog post last month about market shares triggered Gary Mintchell to comment on his Feed Forward blog.  That started a discussion that is worth following: Ethernet in Manufacturing and Automation. –Carl Henning

Read More
Mar 15

PROFINET Wins, Organization Expands, PROFIenergy Products

Lots of news from PI today: PROFIBUS and PROFINET by the numbers I hate to get too wrapped up in node counts, but here are the installed nodes through 2009: PROFIBUS 31,400,000 (5,400,000 in the process industries) PROFINET 2,100,000 PROFIsafe 850,000 Press Release: Healthy growth for PROFIBUS and PROFINET The only thing these numbers really…

Read More
Feb 9

Multitasking on Industrial Ethernet

Automation World has an interesting article in the February issue and online: “Ethernet Protocols’ Flexibility A Boost For Manufacturing.”  It manages to mention five different Industrial Ethernet protocols but then goes on to focus on PROFINET and Ethernet/IP.  This is a sensible focus since PROFINET and Ethernet/IP are the market leaders.  A recent study showed…

Read More