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From Research to the Global Network: The possibilities offered by PROFIBUS and PROFINET in the age of IoT and Industry 4.0

The past three decades have been an exciting time for fieldbus technology. What began as a research project is today the basis for forward-looking Industry 4.0 concepts. And despite the sophisticated technology from PROFIBUS and PROFINET, the future continues to offer a wealth of exciting tasks – such as the integration of TSN.

Today, users can depend on fieldbus devices to reliably communicate with one another, regardless of the manufacturer. This has not always been the case – 30 years ago, the costs of installation, configuration and operationweres enormous. Today’s simplicity for the user is no coincidence. In the first stages of the development of PROFIBUS, two courses were set, which from today’s perspective were almost visionary. The one was the promotion of a development-related standardization process. The other was that the newly-developed fieldbus should be able to be used by all companies. Even with further developments, the user organization – which is now internationally active – has not deviated from these two principles. However, until the point of practical maturity, numerous detail tasks were on the agenda. In addition to the actual technology, a unique quality assurance system – with interface tests, interoperability tests and certification – is also part of the fieldbus world. In order to take into account the application-specific features, the technical committees developed standardized profiles right from the start. This means that the PROFIdrive application profile meets the special requirements of drive technology in combination with the PROFIBUS and PROFINET communication systems. A little later, the PA devices profile for the process industry followed. In 1999, PROFIsafe was presented at the Hannover Messe. The development of PROFIenergy, the vendor-neutral, energy saving profile – which permits the targeted shutdown and restart of components such as lasers, robots or drives during production breaks – also met with great interest a few years ago. In the meantime, the first applications, among others in the automotive industry, are in operation.

Communication of the Future

Very early, PROFIBUS & PROFINET International (PI) relied on Ethernet-based communication. As early as 2001, the first pilot application with PROFINET was introduced. Shortly thereafter, a certification system was established, and the first PROFINET Competence Centers and test laboratories began operations. In 2004, PROFINET achieved a large-scale breakthrough in the automotive industry. Since then, PI has continued to further develop the open Industrial Ethernet standard.Through Fast Forwarding, Dynamic Frame Packing and Fragmentation, cycle times of up to 31.25 μs – along with high-precision isochrone mode – is possible. And even before Industry 4.0 was a mainstream topic in the industrial world, the lifecycle management of plants and machines was high on the priority list for the operators. For this reason, PROFINET has integrated appropriate diagnostics mechanisms to support standardized preventive maintenance. PROFINET stands out with its unique range of functions. The device diagnostics PROFIBUS is known for don’t just enable fast troubleshooting – for example, in the event of a short circuit or cable break. The integrated network diagnostics also ensures short downtimes for many other incidents and helps to optimize the performance of the network.

Seamless integration of new technologies

Increasingly, issues from the IoT and Industry 4.0 worlds are being brought to PI, driven not by the automation industry, but by information technology or basic Ethernet technology. PI sees it as its very own task to integrate new functions and features into proven PI technologies so that they work seamlessly with existing and proven systems. A current example is the integration of TSN: In Industry 4.0 applications, converged networks are real added value. They are characterized by the fact that the IT systems can easily be connected to the OT side. Data from production can be used in software applications without difficulty – for example, for process optimization. It’s also easier to integrate cloud platforms – be it on-site or anywhere in the world. The reporting is simplified with regards to plant or machine performance. Of particular interest is that through the continued evolution of the Ethernet in IEEE 802.1, future devices with standard Ethernet controllers will be developed that will meet all the robustness and deterministic requirements of industrial automation. However, an important finding of the work so far is that the simple configuration of the TSN network parameters will be decisive for user acceptance. For this reason, PI is primarily pursuing the decentralized configuration model of the IEEE – currently being tested in the testbed at Labs Network Industrie 4.0 e.V., for instance – which can be used to create flexible and powerful plant networks.

Simultaneous continuity and progress

Tasks and technologies are constantly changing, but the principles of PI – standardization and openness – will remain as constants. PI is committed to identifying the most important communication requirements for Industry 4.0 and standardizing them as PI technologies are further developed. The key is: users can continue to depend on the fact that the technology they’re already using will last and the transition to new technologies will happen easily.

What you should know about TSN: Karsten Schneider, PI Chairman, gives you the answers!

What can TSN do better than previous Ethernet solutions? 

Karsten Schneider: Ethernet TSN essentially extends the existing mechanisms of Ethernet to include “Quality of Service“ (e.g., bandwidth reservation), synchronization, as well as low latency and even bumpless redundancy. In practice, it looks like this: The applications report their communication needs to the network and get the respective requested QoS guaranteed by the network. The respective connections then run in so-called streams, which then enjoy bandwidth protection via resource allocation in the memory of the switches. In principle, each of these streams can be given a real-time capability. Due to the encapsulated streams, it is also possible with TSN that several real-time capable protocols can be operated in parallel in a single network. This is also known as network convergence.

Is TSN sufficient to transition systems into the age of Industry 4.0?

Karsten Schneider: TSN is just one building block on the way to Industry 4.0-capable systems. PI is currently working on using TSN for PROFINET, but TSN has only layer 2 mechanisms – that is, pure data transport. While this helps break down barriers to communication, IT systems do not understand the meaning of individual data from the machine. So, something must be said about the content. With a suitable semantic description, such as that already stored in the PROFINET application profiles, a quality management system without additional configuration knows that the value received is the torque from a screwdriver control unit. Only then can pure data be used profitably. Apart from that, other topics – such as security, safety or OPC UA – have to be considered for Industry 4.0.

What will happen to the previous PROFINET profiles when using TSN? 

Karsten Schneider: For years, PI has been working on corresponding profile definitions in which information from devices is described and standardized across manufacturers. With TSN, these profiles can continue to be used, along with the complete PROFINET know-how. The vision for PROFINET applications does not change due to TSN. In addition, PI is now incorporating these profiles into the joint working group with the OPC Foundation to create open information models. These can easily be made available to IT systems via OPC UA. Companion specifications for OPC UA arise here with the usage of PI know-how. This will make it even easier to implement Industry 4.0 applications in the future.

Are there already chips for TSN? 

Karsten Schneider: TSN requires a“TSN-capable“ chip. The chips used today cannot usually be upgraded through software on TSN. However, it is foreseeable that, in the future, the standard Ethernet chip will be a TSN-capable chip. Well-known chip manufacturers have already started, or at least announced, the development of chips with TSN mechanisms. Likewise, well-known PROFINET chip manufacturers will develop modules with RT/IRT and TSN, so that the hardware does not have to be changed during the transition to TSN.

What is the timeframe for the developments? 

Karsten Schneider: You should expect it to take up to ten years until a new technology is really assimilated into practice.This is at least the experience we had with the introduction of PROFIBUS and PROFINET. There may be industries where implementation is faster. But one should not forget that it is not only about the creation of the specification – which should be completed in 2019 – but also about topics such as certification, documentation, training and seminars.

These things also require time!

Time-sensitive networking (TSN) is a promising technology drawing a lot of attention at the moment, especially in the context of Industry 4.0, where it is generally viewed as the opportunity for better integration of OT networks into the IT networks of companies.

TSN offers great potential for PROFINET. It aims to combine the wide range of IT networks with the robustness and determinism of automation networks. In short: hard real-time via standard IT networks. But this doesn’t signal a revolution for PROFINET. Rather, it represents a visionary architecture upon which PROFINET is building. Through further development of Ethernet in IEEE 802.1, future devices with standard Ethernet controllers can be developed that still meet all the robustness and determinism requirements of industrial automation.

Our video shows you what requirements Industrie 4.0 has and how real-time communication with PROFINET based on TSN fulfil it.

Click here to view the video …

*** Press Information ***

Nuremberg, November 29, 2017

At the 2017 Hannover Fair, PI (PROFIBUS & PROFINET International) announced their intention to use TSN (Time Sensitive Networking) for PROFINET. The first working group findings are now available and a roadmap for the specification work has been created.

TSN is receiving a lot of attention today, especially in the context of Industry 4.0, and is generally viewed as the opportunity for better integration of OT networks into the IT networks of companies. Through further development of Ethernet in IEEE 802.1, future devices with standard Ethernet controllers can be developed that still meet all the robustness and determinism requirements of industrial automation. Since TSN only defines a Layer 2 for communication, PROFINET is predestined, as an application protocol, to seamlessly integrate TSN, so controllers and field devices can communicate with each other and exchange data.

One focus of the working group that is responsible for the PROFINET standard was defining which of the numerous IEEE 802.1 standards will be required for the specification of TSN integration into PROFINET. Here, synchronization using 802.1 ASrev, TAS (time aware shaper, 802.1Qbv) and preemption (802.1Qbu) are among the most important functions. Through the early selection of supported standards, device manufacturers can prepare for TSN now and plan their next generation of devices with TSN.

However, a significant finding of work so far is that the configuration of TSN network parameters will be among the decisive criteria for success and acceptance by users. TSN will only be easily integrated into systems if it uses a Plug & Work approach that makes extensive adjustment unnecessary. PI therefore primarily pursues the IEEE decentralized configuration model, which allows the creation of flexible, efficient system networks and will be tested, for example, on the test bed of Labs Network Industrie 4.0.

Thanks to the proven basic architecture of PROFINET using standard Ethernet, user perception on issues such as IO data, parametrization, diagnosis, etc. remains unchanged. In view of the large installed base of PROFINET Devices, this is an important compatibility issue for our users.

PI has set the first quarter of 2019 as its goal for publication of the specification for use of TSN with PROFINET.

In the meantime, click here to watch our new PROFINET TSN video …

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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

Barbara.Weber@profibus.com

http://www.PROFIBUS.com

*** Press Information ***

Nuremberg – November 29, 2017: In addition to dedicated work on the integration of new standards such as TSN, the PI (PROFIBUS & PROFINET International) community also drives further development of today’s basic technologies forward. That also makes sense, since a broad base due to a large diversity of manufacturers and very varied high-quality devices establishes a firm foundation for the steady continuation of the innovative PROFINET standard.

Thus, Siemens also offers a new development kit for integration of a PROFINET IRT Controller into any desired target systems. Its core is the ASIC SOC1 proven in many of their products and the associated firmware stack. A configuration library derived from already proven engineering tools is available for easy network parameterization in the particular engineering environment of the target system. The required software components are supplied in source code so possible adaptations or portings necessary for integration into the particular target systems can be carried out. A fast, easy start is possible with the CP 1625 evaluation board as the development platform. The interface to the application for the long-established PROFINET RT Controller, which is used in various customer products, was enhanced with functions for IRT and clock synchronization.

There is also good news on the subject of drive technology. Application examples for drive classes AC1 (standard drive) and AC4 (servo drive) are available for easy implementation of the PROFIdrive drive profile in the devices on both the controller and device side.

Hilscher, the independent communications specialist, has rounded off the spectrum of real-time Ethernet protocols for netX with the PROFINET IRT Controller technology. The PROFINET IRT Controller is now a standard part of the established CIFX PC cards or net Jack and COMX embedded modules.

Alternatively, the PROFINET IRT Controller can be used with the Hilscher netX multi-protocol master chips for integration in designs. Design of the IRT network is carried out exclusively with the proven Hilscher SYCON.net configuration tool.

Both the PROFINET IRT Controller and the PROFINET IRT Device can be operated together with the PROFIdrive reference implementations. The appropriate interface adaptations are available from Hilscher or through the PROFIdrive community. This also simplifies access to the drive solutions with PROFINET IRT.

The increased number of newly certified PROFINET Devices also shows that growth in device diversity is uninterrupted. Trouble-free interaction of different devices in the machines and systems is only assured by practice-oriented certification tests. That’s why PI invests heavily in the development of test tools and the qualification of testing laboratories.

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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

Barbara.Weber@profibus.com

http://www.PROFIBUS.com

*** 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.

*** End ***

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

Barbara.Weber@profibus.com

http://www.PROFIBUS.com

Digital communication networks that enable major advances in manufacturing were showcased at a free seminar held recently at Glyndwr University in Wrexham, North Wales

With Industry 4.0 set to transform the UK economy over the next few years, Wrexham Glyndwr University was delighted to be able to host a highly-focused PI UK event during the last week of September.

56 delegates from the region’s many manufacturing companies were present to learn how digital communication networks are a key factor when developing Industry 4.0 solutions. Central to the discussion was the use and practical application of PROFIBUS, PROFINET and IO-Link in industry. These three networks offer a complete solution for industrial automation in process and manufacturing plants.

As well as being introduced to the technologies, managers and engineers attending the event were able to catch a glimpse of Wrexham Glyndwr University’s engineering labs, including an intelligent control panel which controls equipment and instrumentation using PROFIBUS. The presentations were accompanied by an exhibition of new products from PI UK members, and the Siemens PROFINET demonstration truck was also at the event for all to visit.

James Robinson, Industrial Engineering programme leader, said: “We were delighted to welcome PROFIBUS and PROFINET International to North Wales.

“Their technologies are leading the way in industrial communications globally, and asset managers, design engineers and maintenance engineers all benefited from the seminar.

“Wrexham Glyndwr University has worked hard to develop its laboratories so students on our industrial engineering degree programmes have access to industry-standard equipment from Helmholz, Softing Industrial, Siemens, WAGO and Procentec. These were all demonstrated on the day.”

Industry 4.0 is one of the largest drivers which will transform manufacturing globally over the coming years; reliable, high-speed digital communications networks are crucial to its success. The UK government have recently announced an increase in funding for Industry 4.0 of £4.7 billion by 2020-21.

James was joined at the event by fellow Wrexham Glyndwr University lecturer and cybersecurity expert Dr Paul Comerford, who gave a presentation on cybersecurity for Industrial Ethernet.

System design and safety considerations through to fault-finding and maintenance with PROFIBUS, PROFINET and IO-Link in key application areas such as mechanical handling and logistics, robotics, automotive engineering, electrical and electronics assembly, control systems and energy management, pulp & paper, chemical, utilities, pharmaceutical, packaging and printing were also addressed.

Further information

For more information about industrial engineering courses at Glyndwr University contact James Robinson on james.robinson@glyndwr.ac.uk

More information about the exhibition …

More information about the seminar programme …

or click here to view and download the presentations.

Digital communication networks which are enabling major advances in manufacturing are to be showcased at a free seminar in Wrexham, North Wales

Glyndwr-logoIndustry 4.0 is set to transform the UK economy over the next few years and will be the focus of the event at Wrexham Glyndwr University on Tuesday 26 September.

The seminar will help delegates understand how digital communication networks are a key factor when developing Industry 4.0 solutions.

Central to the discussion will be the use and practical application of PROFIBUS, PROFINET and IO-Link in industry. These three networks offer a complete solution for industrial automation in process and manufacturing plants.

Glyndwr-1As well as being introduced to the technologies, managers and engineers attending the event will be able to catch a glimpse of Wrexham Glyndwr University’s engineering labs, including an intelligent control panel which controls equipment and instrumentation using PROFIBUS. A Siemens PROFINET demonstration truck will also be on show.

James Robinson, Industrial Engineering programme leader, said: “We’re delighted to be welcoming PROFIBUS and PROFINET International to North Wales.

“Their technologies are leading the way in industrial communications globally, and asset managers, design engineers and maintenance engineers will all benefit from this seminar.

Glyndwr-2“Wrexham Glyndwr University has worked hard to develop its laboratories so students on our industrial engineering degree programmes have access to industry-standard equipment from Helmholz, Softing Industrial, Siemens, WAGO and Procentec. These will all be demonstrated on the day.

Industry 4.0 is one of the largest drivers which will transform manufacturing globally over the coming years; reliable, high speed digital communications networks are crucial to its success. The UK government have recently announced an increase in funding for Industry 4.0 of £4.7 billion by 2020-21.

James will be joined at the event by fellow Wrexham Glyndwr University lecturer and cyber security expert Dr Paul Comerford, who will be giving a presentation on Cyber security for Industrial Ethernet.

System design and safety considerations through to fault-finding and maintenance with PROFIBUS, PROFINET and IO-Link in key application areas will all be considered.

These include mechanical handling and logistics, robotics, automotive engineering, electrical and electronics assembly, control systems and energy management, pulp & paper, chemical, utilities, pharmaceutical, packaging and printing.

The event runs from 8.45am to 4pm at the Catrin Finch Centre, Wrexham Glyndwr University.

Visitors will get the chance to win a free 20 minute flight in the university’s Merlin flight simulator.

Attendance at the free seminar is by registration in advance online at http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=ycu456cab&oeidk=a07ee3d8b0x9055ee15

For more information contact James Robinson on james.robinson@glyndwr.ac.uk

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