Wireless PROFINET – Architectures

Wireless Architectures When speaking about wireless PROFINET communications for industrial automation, there are a variety of architectures available depending on the application. Overall, there are four main possible architectures: Point to Point Point to multipoint (Infrastructure) Wireless distributed system Mesh  Also, there is an option between Wifi or Bluetooth. PROFINET devices with Wifi/Bluetooth capabilities are readily available by a variety of vendors. […]

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 “PROFINET Shared Device”?

PROFINET offers many features which allow for custom-tailored architectures and automation applications.  An overview of these features can be found in our mandatory and optional features articles.  One of these features is “PROFINET Shared Device”, which gives multiple PROFINET IO controllers (PLCs / PACs) access to the same IO device.  You are probably thinking why would we want to do that? And, how could that […]

What is PROFINET I-Device?

Introduction In a recent article, we covered “PROFINET Shared Device”, which gives a device the capability to share IO data with multiple controllers. This time we will discuss I-Device, which operates on the IO controller level. This optional feature allows a controller to be both a device and controller simultaneously, allowing for controller to controller (some might say peer to peer) communications […]

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 a 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 demanding […]

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 […]

PROFIdrive Application Class 3

An Application Class 3 (AC3) PROFIdrive device is a “Positioning Mode” drive, and it builds on the concepts of an AC1 device.  However, instead of commanding a drive to move at a desired speed, now the controller asks the drive to move to a desired position.  An AC3 device, as with AC1, handles all of the feedback from the positioning […]

PROFIdrive Application Class 4

PROFIdrive Application Class 4 (AC4) drives are speed-controlled drives.  Like AC1, a controller can command the drive to spin a a given speed.  However, AC4 drives are typically used with high-performance servos rather than the fans or pump motors AC1 is used with.  Because of this high-performance use case, AC4 drives provide a position control loop and cede some of […]

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. PROFIenergy: A Big Deal PROFIenergy operates as a programming API, allowing application engineers to use common code blocks in PLCs to control […]

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 […]