Jan 17

Square Peg, Round Hole: The hidden cost of simplistic PROFINET application design

Carl is taking a short vacation. He may return with more off-topic news, but in the meantime enjoy this guest post from the PROFI Interface Center’s Kyle McMillan.   The first time my new neighbor got to see me get mad was when I found him lying under his mower, trying to change a blade…

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Dec 6

PROFINET – Most Installed, Fastest Growing

According to a new market study by MarketsandMarkets, PROFINET is “the most popular automation network.” And fastest growing. It’s good to have independent confirmation of what I expected all along. Here at PI North America we see increasing numbers of students at our free one-day training classes and the fee-based PROFINET Certified Network Engineer classes.…

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Nov 8

MinutePROFINET, the Backstory

Have you seen some of our MinutePROFINET videos? Maybe you should subscribe to the MinutePROFINET Channel; almost 1,000 people have. If you had you would have been alerted to the latest video- MinutePROFINET: Adding PROFINET to Devices: This one is, of course, of special interest to makers of automation devices like PLCs, DCSs, I/O, drives,…

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Oct 18


Sometimes I’m surprised by the questions at our PROFINET one-day training classes. In Detroit students stumbled over QoS (Quality of Service – a standard feature of Ethernet). This means we need to clarify that topic and how PROFINET uses it; here’s is that attempted clarification: QoS uses a field in the Ethernet frame to identify…

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Sep 6

Where PROFINET Has Boldly Gone

September 8 marks the 50th anniversary of Star Trek’s premiere. I admit that I am a complete fan, especially of ST:TOS (or, for the non-cognoscenti – Star Trek: The Original Series). Back then I was a fan of all things science fiction; now I’m just a fan of some things science fiction. (Yes, “some things”…

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Aug 16

Back to School (for PROFINET)

School kids have already gone back to school here or are about to. And PROFINET one-day training classes are about to resume after their summer hiatus. Over the next month we’ll be in Montreal, Boston, and Houston. Then four more to finish the calendar year with 17 classes. We hope to see you in one…

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Aug 9

PROFINET Plugfest Report

Ok, I’ll admit it: I was a skeptic about the North American plugfest. Could we get enough devices and controllers? Could we pull together a plugfest having never done one in North America? I now know that the answers to both questions is “Yes!” There were 6 controllers and 30 devices. Enough to keep us…

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Jul 12

PROFINET and Big Data

All that big data has to come from somewhere.  And PROFINET delivers it. But what is Big Data? Herewith some quotes from the IEEE Computer Society magazine Computing Edge, May issue: “Integrating heterogeneous datasets is essentially what distinguishes big data from traditional data manipulation and analytic tasks.” [Qiang Yang, “Cross-Domain Data Fusion”] “Nonoccurring behaviors (NOBs)…

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Jul 6


Plugfests are also called InterOps (for InterOperate). They allow devices from many vendors to be attached to networks of various controllers. We have an upcoming PROFINET Plugfest. But, wait, why is that necessary? All PROFINET products must be certified in a PI-accredited test lab and be granted a certificate from PI. Those test are extensive…

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Jun 21

An Expanded IIoT Checklist

What does it take to have your very own Industrial Internet of Things project? PROFINET has a role to play: Things. The starting point. The “T” in the IIoT. In the industrial world these are sensors, actuators, instruments, I/O blocks, drives, vision systems, robots, Ethernet switches, scanners, label printers, RFID, switches, lights, and more. These…

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