PROFINET Naming Conversions

In our last article on PROFINET naming conventions, we gave you the basis naming conventions and the network representation of the PROFINET device names.  However it should be pointed out that PROFINET devices can be named just about anything in the engineering tools as the name will be converted automatically by the PROFINET tool into a network representative format using PROFINET naming conversions.  This is due to the fact that some customers want to use special character sets / other standard naming conventions which do not fit as a valid network name representation.  In this case, the tool will automatically substitute a different character or characters in place of unsupported network naming characters.

So names like




can be converted to valid device names (for example the last one would be converted into network name “mymoneyxfillerdevicexyx1”.  Where the upper case letters are replaced with lower case, the “$” is replaced with “xf”, the “?” replaced with “xy” and the “!” replaced with “x1”.  This is transparent to the device and engineering tool.  In the device name section of the tool, when setting the name, there will be a display window which shows name and converted network name.  When setting the name on the device the latter (converted) name will be set and this converted name is also used by the PROFINET IO controller when starting up the system.  Commissioning and Diagnostics still works without any issue in the PROFINET engineering tools.

So , in conclusion, this additional PROFINET naming conversion feature in the engineering tools allow the use of special characters for device representation to make it even easier to manage your PROFINET device names using your own naming criteria.  For more information on this topic and to see the substitution tables, see annex C of the PROFINET Topology and Engineering Discovery guideline at