Tell Me More about PROFINET

An advantage of PROFINET being the world’s most popular Industrial Ethernet is the number of resources available for additional information. Let’s categorize those resources as those you can Read, Watch, and Attend.

Read. You will of course want to read the manuals for the equipment you are using. Really. But for information on PROFINET itself you can read the “System Description: PROFINET Technology and Application” for an overview. For design, installation, and commissioning, there are individual guidelines (and a network load calculation tool). These and much more to read at

We heartily recommend cooperating with your IT department when it comes to installing your Industrial Ethernet network. Granted this is not always easy. Office networks have different requirements than factory networks. But there is much to learn from IT… and they have much to learn from us. You can help them understand the control engineer’s view by sharing with them our white paper “PROFINET and IT.” You can find it and many other white papers at

Watch. There are many videos to help you learn about PROFINET. I think most engineers do not have ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder), so are comfortable watching longer media like our PROFINET webinars. I especially like “Completing a PROFINET Project,” but there are others too at

For those few engineers that do have ADD (and for all sales staff <smile>) we have a series of one-minute videos at Start with the oldest one. Longer videos are collected at

Attend. There is no substitute for in-person instruction. Many manufacturers and distributors offer local training options. PI North America offers PROFINET one-day training classes around North America for free! (Our sister organizations around the globe offer similar training opportunities everywhere.) There is a map of US training cities at

For in-depth, fee-based training, we have certified training centers. Their weeklong classes dive into the bits and bytes of the network. Students who pass the rigorous, standardized exams (theoretical and practical) are certified as PROFINET Certified Network Engineers and listed on the international PI website. Details and registration can be found at


If you are still unsure about where to start, give us a call. We have Regional PI Associations (RPAs) like PI North America around the world. And there are PI Competence Centers (PICCs) that are certified to assist with network issues. We have four of these in North America. You can access contact information for the all of the North American organizations at We are here to help.

–Carl Henning

[Cross posted at GE Intelligent Platforms blog:]