This white paper describes PROFINET in IT terms and shows how PROFINET relates to IT topology.  The adaptations required of Industrial Ethernet for environmental and functional purposes are described.

Executive Summary Excerpt

PROFINET, a market-leading Industrial Ethernet protocol, encompasses all levels of a network, ranging from the physical infrastructure to the Ethernet network access layer and the TCP/IP layer, and finally to the application layer. The structures and topologies of conventional network technology used in IT and in automation differ only in the machine-level area of the automation system. As a result, PROFINET can be easily integrated into existing network environments.

The integration or connection of automation areas does not affect the superordinate network communication to any significant degree because the data traffic, which is mainly cyclical in nature, is predominantly limited to local data traffic. Increasingly, communication with centralized devices is becoming necessary, but this constitutes neither the major portion of the automation applications nor the major portion of the superordinate network. The communication demands of automation do not require faster data transmission rates on the overall network. In this regard, PROFINET-generated communication can be categorized the same as any other additional application.

Like Office applications, PROFINET applications use the TCP/IP protocol and IP services. Depending on the number of automation areas to be integrated, the number of IP subnets to be addressed within the overall network can increase significantly. This necessitates the use of a comprehensive address concept for office and automation areas, which also takes into consideration the use of private IP addresses, if applicable.

PROFINET allows applications with a wide range of different realtime requirements to be implemented. In the automation environment, realtime requirements exceeding those specified in the multimedia environment must often be met. PROFINET satisfies these specific requirements by adapting different realtime scenarios in which, however, communication still remains limited tothe machine level, i.e., in one logical subnet and in one broadcast domain, so that no special preparation of the superordinate network is necessary.

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Table of contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Motivation
  3. Industrial Ethernet: Profinet
    1. Different approaches for Industrial Ethernet PROFINET – Overview
  4. Specific conditions in automation
    1. Network structure and network nodes
    2. Communication structure
    3. Bit rate and packet rate
    4. Addressing and subnetting
    5. Protocols used
    6. Real-time communication
    7. Environmental conditions
    8. Installation requirements
    9. Availability and redundancy
    10. Operation / management / diagnostics / remote access
  5. Network connection of automation and office
    1. Scenario 1 – Separate physical and logical networks
    2. Scenario 2 – Logical integration into the overall network
    3. Scenario 3 – Separate logical networks (closed user group)

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