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 […]


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 […]

Network Reference Model

Networks are usually represented by a seven-layer model, the ISO/OSI Reference Model. In the Ethernet world, the seven layers collapse to four. PROFINET uses all four, but not all the time. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves; let’s start at the beginning: the seven layer model. Here’s the seven-layer model with the layers labeled and their functions defined. The layers […]

Time Sensitive Networking – TSN overview

What is TSN? Time Sensitive Networking or “TSN” refers to a set of IEEE 802 standards that make Ethernet deterministic by default. It has evolved from the industry’s use of Audio / Video bridging (A/V) and the need for more devices and synchronized communications. As more users connect up their devices to the Industrial Internet of Things and Industry 4.0 this […]

Physical Layer Requirements

The physical layer requirements for PROFINET are simple: PROFINET lays directly on top of standard IEEE 802 Ethernet. Any PROFINET device can be placed on a standard Ethernet network in a home or an office, and it will communicate just the same as it would on the factory floor.

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.

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.

Designing Alarms for PROFINET Devices

Editor’s note: This article is an excerpt from the PROFINET Developer Workshop offered by the PROFI Interface Center.  For more information on this or other advanced topics, contact them at [email protected] Alarms, Diagnostics, Errors… these terms get thrown around a lot when people discuss how to communicate when bad things happen on the network.  But what do they really mean? […]