Why PROFINET? The next generation in process automation

PROFINET - the world's best selling industrial Ethernet standardThe development of PROFINET as the solution platform for process automation

Process-related systems are typically complex in structure, consisting of different sub-systems with numerous devices and differing topologies, manufacturers and technologies. Plant Owners and Operators urgently want this complexity to be harmonized and the data and information systems to be fully integrated and easier to handle with resulting improvements in operational reliability. PROFINET fully meets these demands:

  • PROFINET is 100% Ethernet and thus provides an ideal environment for interoperability at all levels of a plant. And PROFINET is precisely defined in its specifications, which is also a requirement for full interoperability.
  • As a uniform technology in a plant, PROFINET also affects personnel costs. There is less training expense, fewer specialists are needed, and plant operation is more transparent and thus more reliable and cost-efficient.
  • PROFINET is 100% Ethernet and is prepared for the close connection with IT resources. This is important when considering a generation break in IT operating personnel.
  • Energy savings is a must! Like PROFIBUS, PROFINET has a wide selection of application-oriented “profiles” for solving certain tasks. A very topical example is PROFIenergy, which enables energy saving during process-related standby periods of plant segments (robots, pumps, motors) and thus significant cost reductions.
  • Replacing of field devices must be easy and reliable. PROFINET has a wide selection of intelligent mechanisms (e.g., automatic addressing and device replacement), which meet this demand in particular.
  • Security is a must, particularly in the process industry with its sensitive processes. PROFINET already has a multi-level security concept and, because it is 100% Ethernet, it also shares in future security developments from the IT world.
  • Operational reliability and availability are keywords for plant operators. PROFINET has already proven itself for many years “in the field” of the factory automation industries, and largely eliminates startup costs for new users in the process industry.

The answer therefore to the introductory question “Why PROFINET?” is as follows: As an Industrial Ethernet standard PROFINET offers plant operators and owners of process automation-related plants a large step forward in terms of standardization, integration, ease of use, security, and cost reduction!

PROFIBUS & PROFINET International (PI) is working intensively on a comprehensive solution for process automation that includes existing and new PI technologies.

The goal is the development of PROFINET as the solution platform for process automation. A special working group was formed and carried out a study to compare the range of demands of the process industry on communication technology with the performance offered by PROFINET. Based on this research, a gap analysis identified the needed developments of the technologies and specifications. Special emphasis was put on the explicit specification of all functions needed to ensure interoperability between products of different manufacturers.

New PROFINET in Process Automation White Paper

PI has published a new white paper detailing the existing functions and capabilities of PROFINET that already meet the demands of the process automation industry, and providing guidance as to specifications that are published, or under development, and could be implemented and utilized in future products.

Click the following link to access/download the new white paper, PROFINET – The Solution Platform for Process Automation.