What’s in a Name?

In the beginning (1994), the PROFIBUS Trade Organization was founded in Scottsdale, AZ by Mike Bryant, its Executive Director.  As a non-profit trade organization it was dedicated to promoting PROFIBUS in North America.  Mike recruited major automation companies to join the fledgling organization.  Siemens took the first Board of Directors seat.  At the 1994 ISA Show in Anaheim he recruited Wonderware to join the Board.  Thus began my involvement on the PTO Board of Directors.

At the 1999 PROFIBUS International meeting in New Orleans, we talked about what was to become PROFINET.  I left the Board after that only to return in 2005 working to promote PROFINET.  After it emerged, we decided PROFIBUS Trade Organization no longer fit the organization and shortened our name to PTO.  It seemed like everyone just called us PTO anyway.  PROFIBUS International was usually just called PI and we decided that PI now stood for PROFINET and PROFINET International.  Gradually the Regional PI Associations (RPAs) changed their names to include PI.   So, for example, the PROFIBUS organization in Italy became PI Italia.

It finally came to pass at the PTO General Assembly Meeting last week that we announced that we too would follow the pattern of our fellow RPAs, and become PI North America.  Peter Welander of Control Engineering shot a brief video clip with more explanation and more about the meeting. 

In the coming days, I’ll provide additional news from the PTO PI North America General Assembly Meeting.  (I bet we continue to answer the phone “PTO” instead of “PI North America” for months to come – old habits die hard!)

–Carl Henning