More networking, more safety, more freedom – these somewhat contradictory requirements do not end at the most sensitive part of the machine network: functionally safe communication. This is a task that is best handled jointly.

Previously, functionally safe communication via a fieldbus or Industrial Ethernet was limited to purely Master-Slave or Controller-Device architectures. However, there is currently no cross-manufacturer standard for safe transfers between machines and thus between the controllers used in the machines. Therefore, controllers from different manufacturers cannot currently communicate with each other without additional action being taken. 

PI (PROFIBUS & PROFINET International) and the OPC Foundation have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to start a Joint Working Group to ensure that PROFIsafe will function between controllers from different manufacturers in the future.

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*** Press Information ***

Nuremberg, November 29, 2017: The PI and OPC Foundation Joint Working Group is making good progress in the preparation of an OPC UA Companion Specification for PROFINET. This team was launched following the discussions and prioritization of issues relevant to PI (PROFIBUS & PROFINET International) in the “Industrie4.0@PI” working group in May 2017. The use cases Asset Management and Diagnosis emerged as especially important.

The collaboration of PROFINET and OPC experts from different firms currently concentrates on the detailed elaboration of concrete use cases, because only a clear, common understanding of users’ requirements leads to an appropriate and subsequently implemented specification.

The PROFINET specification has already performed a lot of preparatory work on Asset Management and Diagnosis use cases, which were also rated as especially relevant by the users. The scope and level of detail of these functions are unique. Thus, the required information is provided to the user in accordance with a standardized structure in the OPC UA object tree following mapping of the objects in the OPC UA Information Model made available via the PROFINET system during vertical access by an IT system via OPC UA client-server calls. This information can then be easily processed in superimposed systems.

Thanks to the TCP/IP channel in PROFINET networks, which has always been open, OPC UA access can take place via the controllers, gateways, or even directly to subordinate devices. Therefore a start in OPC UA can take place flexibly and in phases.

OPC UA is not a new topic for PI. Thus, the FDI specification energetically pursued by PI uses OPC UA services. The already applied OPC UA specification for devices is also used in the PROFINET mapping. The coordination with new activities for mapping of IO-Link in accordance with OPC-UA takes place continuously, ensuring seamless joint integration into the OPC UA Object Model.

The activities aim to create an OPC UA PROFINET Companion Specification by mid-2019. The device manufacturers can continue to integrate the proven PROFINET services without change. A display of information using OPC UA services in accordance with currently defined mapping can then take place in the corresponding devices in accordance with customer requirements.

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Press Contact:                                                                                                

PI (PROFIBUS & PROFINET International)

Support Center

Barbara Weber

Haid-und-Neu-Str. 7

D-76131 Karlsruhe

Tel.: 07 21 /96 58 – 5 49

Fax: 07 21 / 96 58 – 5 89

The IO-Link community has founded a technical working group for specifying the integration of IO-Link into OPC UA based on existing use cases.

io link companion std

A final proposal for the companion specification is to be available before the end of 2018.

The Industry 4.0 platform sees OPC UA (from OPC Foundation) as a suitable architecture model for implementing consistent integration of IT on the field level. This is why a corresponding standard for a data and function model is now being developed within the framework of the IO-Link community so as to accurately represent future IO-Link Devices and IO-Link Masters in OPC UA. This approach follows the general recommendation for developing OPC UA Companion Standards.

Over the past few years, IO-Link as a point-to-point protocol for sensors and actuators has been able to solidly establish itself and increase its presence. It is manufacturer independent (and thus field bus independent), has come to support more than 4,500 devices and enjoys steadily increasing acceptance.

Through the use of corresponding logic, so-called “IO-Link Masters”, IO-Link sensors and actuators can be connected to the various different field bus systems without further adjustment. Such masters can even be economically integrated into simple devices today. IO-Link thus offers the opportunity to access a very broad range of sensors and actuators in a standardized way and fieldbus independent.

As Industrie 4.0 efforts progress, it is also necessary to semantically incorporate IO-Link Devices into systems on a higher level than the field bus in order to evaluate sensor data. This functionality is often designated as a “sensor to the cloud” to express that sensor data is analyzed by IT systems outside the automation process. In this way, sensor data can also be seamlessly linked to MES and ERP systems.

The goal of this new IO-Link/OPC UA working group (C4/PG51), lead by Michael Tiegelkamp (TE Connectivity), is to complete a final proposal for the Companion Specification (draft for voting) before the end of 2018.

More information on PI’s IO-Link technology can be found at


About IO-Link and PI UK

During 2016 the IO-Link grew to 5.3 million nodes, showing just how much interest there is in the technology, managed through the auspices of PROFIBUS & PROFINET International (PI).

In the UK, PROFIBUS & PROFINET International is represented by PI UK. Funded entirely by member subscriptions, our mission is to support UK industry in taking advantage of the opportunities for increased productivity, lowered costs and global standards afforded by embracing PROFIBUS, PROFINET and IO-Link. Membership is open to any person or company with an interest in open standard industrial communications.

More information is available on PROFIBUS, PROFINET and IO-Link from, PI’s global website, where technical, marketing and sales information can be found, plus an on-line catalogue of over 2500 products.

We are starting a new email newsletter service. To join the list, you can sign up safely at

Integration of OPC UA into the system architecture of PROFINET

PI and OPC Foundation to intensify cooperation on Industrie 4.0PROFINET - the world's best selling industrial Ethernet standard


Here’s an interesting news item from the SPS/IPC event  at Nuremberg:

PROFIBUS & PROFINET International (PI) and OPC Foundation have been working cooperatively for years. This cooperation is being intensified in order to systematically continue the integration of OPC UA into the system architecture of PROFINET.

It is apparent today that the service-oriented architecture of OPC UA (Unified Architecture) will be a building block for the development of Industrie 4.0. In particular for communication with devices such as operator stations via the controller level or for production data from devices to corporate IT, especially in an environment with different providers. OPC UA becomes the link for the non-deterministic communication between different types of devices on this level and between levels. PROFINET takes over the transmission or deterministic real-time data and control-relevant acyclic data in automation systems. PROFINET and OPC UA are therefore already a perfect complement to one another today because PROFINET allows open communication based on TCP/IP in parallel without additional expense. For example: automation of a screwdriver control in real-time using PROFINET. Quality data such as tightening torques can then be transmitted to the quality management systems over the same cable via OPC UA.

PI Chairman Karsten Schneider is looking forward to the cooperation with OPC Foundation on the future-oriented subject: “In PI we see OPC UA as a complementary technology for PROFINET, the leading Industrial Ethernet standard in automation. The ability to run both services in one network will open entirely new possibilities and will be the foundation for mega trends like IIoT and Industrie 4.0.”

Thomas Burke, President of the OPC Foundation, sees a number of synergies in the cooperation with PI: “The collaboration between PROFIBUS & PROFINET International (PI) and the OPC Foundation provides the solution for information integration and interoperability from the embedded world to the enterprise. Suppliers and end-users alike will benefit from this collaboration, and is part of the continuum of the partnership between the organizations reflected in other initiatives inclusive of FDI.”


See also:

ARC’s white paper on the subject, entitled: How Profinet and Industrie 4.0 Enable Information-Driven Industries



Press contact:

PI (PROFIBUS & PROFINET International)

PROFIBUS Nutzerorganisation e. V.

Barbara Weber

Haid-und-Neu-Str. 7

D-76131 Karlsruhe

Phone: 07 21 /96 58 – 5 49

Fax: 07 21 / 96 58 – 5 89

The OPC Foundation is a global automation organization having close links with PI.

For example, the FDI (Field Device Integration) initiative in which PI plays a leading role utilises the advanced features of the Unified Architecture (UA) technology of OPC.

Certified OPC Professional Designation

Certified OPC Professional Designation

OPCTI offers excellent practical OPC training leading to Certified OPC Professional (COP) accreditation. They’ve arranged a full week of training in London from 25 to 29 November with special discount terms for members of The PROFIBUS Group.

Contact us now for details of the special discounts.


The courses follow a modular format designed to enable students to attain full familiarity with the contents both in theory and in practice. There are four levels of attainment covering the full range of OPC capabilities. All four levels will be delivered in the Accelerated OPC Workshop format which is ideal for people who need to learn about OPC but have time and budget constraints. Students cover the 4 distinct courses detailed below in a shortened time-frame of 1 week.

The modules cover:

Level 1: OPC and DCOM Diagnostics

Students learn about OPC and how to troubleshoot and repair DCOM problems. The class covers the most common OPC specifications: OPC DA, OPC HDA, OPC A&E, OPC UA, and OPC .NET. Students also get to practice OPC concepts such as client/server architecture, tunneling, bridging, and redundancy.

Level 2: OPC Security

Students learn how to secure their OPC implementation by configuring their firewall, Data Execution Prevention, Windows Authentication, Access Control Lists (ACL), Windows Services, Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) implementation, and how to continuously monitor the health of their real-time communication system. This enables plants to comply with IT, industrial, and federal regulations.

Level 3: OPC Unified Architecture (OPC UA)

Students learn the OPC Unified Architecture (OPC UA) set of specifications. The hands-on class covers the security model that enhances Classic OPC capabilities. Students explore OPC UA’s data information model and data transportation, which now use Web Services and binary protocols to eliminate reliance on Microsoft’s DCOM technology.

Level 4: Advanced OPC Projects

Students learn advanced integration project requirements that affect machines, plants, and SCADA. They setup firewall ports to enable OPC communication. They setup a VPN to tunnel through firewalls and NAT. Students also discuss FAT and SAT (Factory / Site Acceptance Testing) to comply with IT, industrial, and federal regulations.


OPCTI provides hands-on training and as such, each student receives their own dedicated computer for the duration of the training so they can complete all the exercises on their own. Students are also permitted to bring their own laptops. OPCTI provides all the necessary software licenses. The software used is from various vendors to expose students to a variety of solutions and ensure a vendor-neutral message.



Taking place in November in London the week of 25th November, each module costs £1495. Discounted pricing is available to students taking all four modules in the Accelerated Workshop format or for companies sending 3 or more people to the same module.

There are also special discounts for members of the UK PROFIBUS Group.

Contact us now on +44 207 193 8018 or email us to register your interest or request further information.

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