Hunter Harrington

HMI Introduction

There is often some confusion when engineers begin to use Human Machine Interfaces (HMIs) and PROFINET, so in the next series of lessons we will explain how HMIs are typically used in PROFINET systems and describe the types of HMIs and application protocols available.


In the previous article about HMIs we mentioned what an HMI was. Next, in this article, we are going to show how they are typically used in a PROFINET HMI context. Often, the decision on which protocol to use on the HMI(s) depends on your application requirements and what protocol drivers the HMI supports. So let’s take a look at […]

PROFINET with Gigabit Ethernet Considerations

Have you considered Gigabit Ethernet for your PROFINET installation? PROFINET and Gigabit Ethernet (or even faster) are complementary technologies that work well together. However, there are some important considerations you should explore before planning your installation. For example, do you need Gigabit Ethernet for your entire network installation? What about the wiring? Maybe you already have Gigabit Ethernet, but do […]

Which switch to use for PROFINET?

Should you use a managed switch or an unmanaged switch with PROFINET? Yes, you should use either a managed or an unmanaged Industrial Ethernet switch with PROFINET ;). Both types of switches are suitable for PROFINET networks. Unmanaged Switches An unmanaged switch has no built-in intelligence except to send incoming Ethernet frames out the correct port – the port to […]

PROFINET Guidelines at a glance

PROFINET offers a massive breadth and depth of application scenarios for industrial automation.  Examples of breadth include wired and wireless IO, factory automation, motion control with IRT for drives/motors, and process automation.  Examples of depth include simple device replacement/commissioning, fast startup, Shared and I -device, and redundancy, just to name a few. If you have questions about application criteria, for example about network topology, commissioning devices, […]

PROFINET Installation Guidelines Explained

Prior to starting your next PROFINET project, we recommend that you take a close look at PI’s PROFINET installation guidelines and planning tools.  These guidelines were designed by engineers for engineers. They will help you with the design, installation, and commissioning of your PROFINET system. They contain tips and specifics that are often overlooked.  There are three main guides a design guideline, an […]


What is a GSD File? A PROFINET General Station Description (GSD) file is a description of an IO device provided by the device manufacturer. The contents of the GSD consists of configuration information, parameters, modules, diagnostic and alarms, and vendor and device identification. To discuss the latter two in a little more detail, the vendor identification (vendor ID) is a number […]

Real Time Classes

PROFINET has class, in fact, many classes: Conformance Classes, Real Time classes, media redundancy classes, and even more class(es). This article covers Real Time Classes and how PROFINET works.

Motion Control and PROFINET

It should come as no surprise that PROFINET also supports motion control applications with drives and motors (sometimes also referred to as VFDs – Variable Frequency Drives) as these are used in most modern automation systems.  Motion control support comes with PROFINET technology from three main aspects: 1.) The ability for scalable real-time control depending on the drive application 2.) […]

DCP – Discovery and Configuration Protocol

PROFINET DCP is part of the protocol suite and stands for “Discovery and basic Configuration Protocol”. It is used by the engineering tool and controller to discover devices, identify device information, and configure device settings such as PROFINET device name and IP address on a PROFINET network.

PROFINET DCP – Reset to Factory explained

In our PROFINET DCP overview, we discussed the ability to reset a device among other features.  In this article, we’ll expand the discussion of this topic, covering the default reset and other reset modes.  For users, taking extra care and doing a proper factory reset can save you time and headaches.  For developers, this information may be helpful for your […]


We often get the question: Why doesn’t PROFINET use Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) for IP address assignment as DCHP is used extensively in the office? Answer: DHCP could be used, optionally, but there are some differences you should know between DHCP and PROFINET DCP.