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Mar 2

PROFIBUS to PROFINET: Migration strategies

Migration Approaches PROFINET leverages PROFIBUS technologies to ensure a smooth and cost-effective migration between them. Depending on the factory state and current network technology there are two migration approaches: Greenfield and Brownfield installation Greenfield Installation: Nonexistent network in the first place, i.e. new branch in the factory. New factories won’t require migration, but new branches…

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Feb 28

PROFINET Cables: Fiber Optics

Fiber optic cables offer specific benefits over copper. They are usually implemented in areas with electromagnetic interference or significant ground potential differences. Fiber optic connections can completely remove problems caused by electromagnetic interference and ground equalization currents flowing in copper cable shields/screens. Some benefits of optical fibers over copper cables are: Optical fiber cables usually…

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Feb 28

PROFINET Cables: Copper

A PROFINET network is built on standard IEEE 802.3 Ethernet. Due to challenging environments on the factory floor, most users opt for rugged industrial Ethernet cables when building an industrial network. Even though wireless access points are becoming more popular, most of today’s network connections are wired and require cabling. Depending on the application, industrial cables…

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Aug 28

The Next Chapter

It’s time for Carl to retire; he hit 70 a couple months ago and as much fun as PI North America has been, it’s time to reluctantly move on. It’s been fun. So, it’s time for Carl to focus on the next chapter, but it’s a time to look at past chapters just a little:…

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Aug 22

PROFI Mnemonics

I’m a big fan of mnemonics. A mnemonic, /nɛˈmɑːnɪk/ (the first “m” is silent) device, or memory device, is any learning technique that aids information retention in the human memory per Wikipedia. In school, you may have learned a mnemonic to remember the Great Lakes: HOMES, Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, Superior. I learned the resistor…

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Aug 15

Where’s My GSD File?

GSD files have been needed for a long time, first for PROFIBUS, and now for PROFINET. Our usual comparison is to printer drivers. A GSD file tells the software system what features, I/O, alarms, and diagnostic capabilities a device has. It resides in the engineering tool, not in the device itself. A printer driver is…

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Aug 8

Secure Your Network!

Your network is not secure! Whether you have all the security in place that’s possible or have not even thought about security – your network is not secure! Sadly, no network can be 100% secure. The best that you can hope for is to make it very difficult to hack. Let’s start at one of…

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Jul 18

Motor Diagnostics

We often brag about PROFINET’s diagnostic capabilities and we brag about PROFINET’s role in the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and Industrie 4.0. PROFINET excels at device to controller communications. But not all communications needs to go to the controller – there is some data it just doesn’t need. There are many articles in the…

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Jul 4

PROFINET Independence Day

It’s Independence Day in the USA, the Fourth of July. PROFINET connection coming up, but first… “Independence Day” always reminds me of the movie (the original one, where a virus created on a Mac laptop can infect an alien operating system) and the old joke “Daddy, does Canada have a fourth of July? Yes, son,…

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Jun 27

We’re Number One

PI does not get to say that PROFINET is the best Industrial Ethernet; the market gets to say that. Which is why I was amused to see a technology that’s in fifth place in the market tout why they’re better than all the other Industrial Ethernets. The market has assigned them their place and it’s…

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