Jun 14

Uptime with PROFINET

How much does downtime cost you in your plant? An automotive plant’s downtime could cost $10,000 per hour. Your mileage may vary, but there definitely is a cost for downtime at your plant. And you can’t be everywhere all the time to know whether your process is running as it should. You need an extra…

Read More
May 24

Top Ten Reasons to Become Certified in PROFINET

Carl and Michael are at the annual international PI meeting. So this week we feature this guest post from the instructor of the PROFINET Certified Network Engineer class, Hunter Harrington: Run the automation race and keep the pace with your very own PROFINET certification. Your Goal: Become a PROFINET certified engineer to help keep pace…

Read More
Apr 12

What did the blender say to the toaster?

What did the blender say to the toaster? I don’t know, but that apparently happens in the Internet of Things. What did the I/O block say to the PLC? Here’s my inputs and thanks for the outputs.  That’s the Industrial Internet of Things. When I read articles about the Internet of Things, I find them…

Read More
Apr 5

Where Is the Edge of the Industrial Internet?

I’ve recently read a number of blog posts and articles talking about the Edge of the Industrial Internet of Things, including Vibhoosh Gupta’s blog post titled “Industrial Edge Node: The iPhone of Industry.” They made me think about where the edge really is.  I’ve heard “edge” defined differently by different people. This is my attempt…

Read More
Mar 29


PROFINET is a mechanism to exchange data between controllers and devices. Controllers could be PLCs, DCSs, or PACs. (Programmable Logic Controllers, Distributed Control Systems, or Programmable Automation Controllers.) Devices could be I/O blocks, vision systems, RFID readers, drives, process instruments, proxies, or even other controllers. PROFINET exchanges data quickly and deterministically. Required speeds vary depending…

Read More
Mar 22

Complementing PROFINET

“Nice job, PROFINET.”  “Way to be deterministic there PROFINET.” No, not complimenting PROFINET, complementing PROFINET. PROFINET is a great backbone for I/O, controllers, vision systems, drives, and more.  But it isn’t all things to all devices.  There are times and places where PROFINET is not the logical network to use.  Fortunately, PROFINET integrates complementary networks…

Read More
Mar 1

Ask the instructor: PROFINET Developer Training

Kyle McMillan is a guest blogger and the PROFINET Certification lead at the PROFI Interface Center – a PI-accredited Test Lab. Recently, we began offering a formal Developer Training course to complement our PROFINET Certified Network Engineer curriculum.  Carl invited me here to explain why. It’s simple: I’m lazy.  Really, I am; I like to…

Read More
Feb 23

Developing a PROFINET Product – Member Resources

We at PI North America and PI Competence Centers like the PROFI Interface Center are happy to help anyone who is developing a PROFINET product.  But we can offer more resources to members. In my last post I outlined some resources that are available to anyone. This post is about the resources that are available…

Read More
Feb 16

Developing a PROFINET Product

There are so many choices of ways to add PROFINET to an automation device that it is difficult to know where to start.  Where to start depends on: Existing design Type of product Quantities expected Time to market needed For a product with an existing Ethernet controller, a PROFINET software stack can be added.  This…

Read More
Feb 9

The Data-Driven Factory

Being in the business of moving data with PROFINET, references to the data-driven factory* appeal to me.  Appealing as that is, it’s an incomplete story.  Like a word-driven blog post.  Random words collected do not a blog post make. Random data collected does not a factory drive. Data is the raw material. Turning it into…

Read More