PROFINET Features


System Redundancy with PROFINET

Automation systems have always been designed to meet two key criteria: reliability and availability.  Reliability is the first priority- data that enters the network should pass through it unchanged and should always make it to its destination.  But availability is a more complex problem, because it’s not just about moving bits across a network once they’re transmitted.  Instead, availability means […]


Industrial Automation Wireless Types

One of our pet peeves is when we hear about people lumping all wireless types together and treating them as one.  Wireless is not one monolithic thing, there are four wireless types, or use-cases in industrial automation: 1. Backhaul (as ISA characterizes it) Typically this is long distance, point to point radio bringing data from a Remote Terminal Unit (RTU) perhaps at a wellhead […]


PROFINET Conformance Classes

In this article, we will cover conformance classes, as they fit into the mandatory features of PROFINET. Every PROFINET device has a defined set of features which are mandatory based on its conformance class. The conformance classes are divided into three categories, class A, B, and C.


Optional PROFINET Features

We often use an age-old catchphrase during our PROFINET one day training classes, “But wait, there’s more!” when we get to the latter part of the day. We’ve found that most engineers and developers don’t realize what the optional PROFINET features are and their purpose.


What is an Application Profile?

PROFIsafe, PROFIdrive, PROFIenergy… these terms are pretty common in the PI world. How are they used in the real world? And how do they actually work? What is the definition of an application profile?


PROFIdrive Application Profile

What is PROFIdrive? PROFIdrive is an vendor neutral application profile from PROFIBUS and PROFINET International (PI) which is focused on drives, encoders, motors, and their applications, which range from simple to very demanding motion control tasks.  It supports both PROFIBUS and PROFINET technologies.  PROFINET allows scalable update times starting from 31.25μs and a jitter of less than 1μs for the most […]


PROFIdrive Application Class 1

When we talk about PROFIdrive, it’s always fun to use high-speed servos, CNC milling, and 3-D printing as application examples.  But those applications are only some of the ways we use motors in the real world.  Every day, millions of motors and drives are dedicated to pumping, blowing, and turning at a fixed speed.   That’s what Application Class 1 drives […]


The PROFIenergy Profile

After learning about what profiles are, it’s time to take a look at one of the several profiles for PROFINET. PROFIenergy is one of the easiest profiles to implement across a range of devices, from cameras to motors. Why PROFIenergy is a big deal PROFIenergy operates as a programming API, allowing application engineers to use common code blocks in PLCs […]


Industrial Safety Basics-Machine Safety

Machine Safety Machine Safety is the protection of personnel or plant assets from damage or death. Components of machine safety include: Organizational safety (Requirements for safety shoes, FRC, safety glasses, etc.) Passive Safety (guard rails, covers for moving parts, gates) Functional Safety  (Protection from hazards due to incorrect functioning of the industrial machinery) Functional Safety This article will focus on Functional Safety for the factory automation environment. Common components […]


Safety Basics – Conventional vs Combined Safety

Safety PLCs are special controllers built and certified to meet international safety requirements such as NFPA 79,  IEC 62061, IEC 13849-1 or IEC 61508. All of these safety standards define levels of risk reduction. Conventional Safety PLC Principle The original safety PLC concept required that normal PLCs and standard I/O could not be mixed with safety PLCs and safety components in the same network. […]


Industrial Safety: PROFIsafe Profile Overview

What is PROFIsafe? PROFIsafe (PROFINET safety) is a safety communication technology for discrete manufacturing and process automation systems. It was developed by PROFIBUS / PROFINET International (PI) to meet Functional Safety requirements for PI communication technologies (PROFINET, PROFIBUS, and PROFIBUS PA).  As we talked about in Safety Basics, the PROFIsafe role in the safety universe is to minimize the chance of incorrect functioning of the control system. Incorrect […]


PROFIsafe Profile Details, Industrial Safety

PROFIsafe profile details are incorporated into the PROFIsafe driver firmware in both an F-Controller and an F-device. The PROFIsafe driver is an encoding/decoding package that ensures the integrity of the safety portion of the communication. What problems can affect communications? The following errors are potential problems in network communications. Repetition – malfunction of a bus device causes old and obsolete safety messages to be repeated at the wrong […]