Aug 5

Does PROFIsafe use up bandwidth?

This is a question we received at a recent PROFINET training class. Does PROFIsafe use up bandwidth? The answer is: “NO”. For a full description of PROFIsafe, read the PROFIsafe System Description. For a short refresher, watch this video: PROFIsafe is used to exchange data between a safety device (F-Device; e.g. emergency-stop button) and a…

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Apr 15

Drive it Safe with PROFINET

PI has released a new animated video showing PROFIsafe in action over PROFINET. (PROFIsafe works over PROFIBUS, too.) It presents the iPar Server for storing safety (and other) parameters. And it presents it more succinctly than I did in a blog post a couple years ago: iPar Server.  It also shows a brief look at…

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Feb 20

Safety Discussion

If you are not following some of the discussion groups on LinkedIn, you are missing out on some excellent advice. One in the Automation & Control Engineering group posed the question “Is Modbus suitable for emergency shutdown?” The short answer is no, of course not. But the discussion was interesting anyway. Naturally the topic of…

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Jan 28

Two Points for Safety

Two points for safety – not two points for A safety. The latter might be a Super Bowl prognostication. (It’s not. But I always thought of safeties in American football as rare, but according to Wikipedia: since 1932, a safety has occurred about once a week.) The former (and the blog post title) is a…

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Jun 4

Safety the Movie is Online

In February of 2007, Safety the Movie debuted in Phoenix (post: Safety the Movie debuts in Phoenix).  In the PROFIBUS and PROFINET world when we think functional safety, we think PROFIsafe.  Yet PROFIsafe only ensures message delivery.  An important role to be sure; the role of enabler.  But there is more to functional safety than…

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Mar 19

News Roundup

“I’m headed for the last roundup” – so sings Gene Autry in an MP3 track I listen to occasionally.  And today we’re headed for the last roundup… for now anyway.  We’ve had a video roundup and a white paper roundup and we’ll finish off the roundups with this news roundup: At Control Engineering Automaker changes…

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Feb 10


I always come into the transition from one year to the next thinking “I’m off the road; I can get caught up on blogging.”  Good theory. Instead I’ve been scrambling to get ready for our PROFINET and PROFIBUS one-day training classes for 2011.  The PROFINET Training Manuals are at the printers; the CDs are pressed. …

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Nov 8

iPar Server

The iPar Server is not an Internet tool for scoring your golf game; it’s a parameter repository to help in device replacement. One of the topics we don’t have time to cover in our PROFIBUS and PROFINET one-day training classes is the iPar Server.  iPar is short for iParameter.  It’s another example of the depth…

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Oct 11

PROFIsafe at ISA

UPDATED (scroll to bottom for additions) In Houston this year I was on the functional safety panel with colleagues from HART Communication Foundation and Fieldbus Foundation plus one user.  The 45 or so attendees were mostly interested in hearing from the user and mostly about Foundation Fieldbus.  To make up for that, I promised the…

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Aug 25

Safety Road Report

We interrupt this series on the General Assembly Meeting, to talk about the one-day training classes.  Seems I haven’t had a chance to talk about recent PROFINET classes in San Jose and Kansas City and I’m headed out to Cleveland now for another one. We continually tweak the classes based on attendee feedback.  Few people…

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