PROFINET University provides lessons about PROFINET. And PROFINET is a communications technology that helps manufacturers make things. Those things may be discrete things like cars or phones, continuously produced things like gasoline or safe drinking water, or batch things like a batch of pills or potato chips. Manufacturers use automation to ensure consistent, high-quality products.
When we introduced the lesson on the evolution of buses in Automation Evolutionary Trends we showed control connectivity evolving from manual to pneumatic to 4-20mA to fieldbus to Industrial Ethernet. Each step improved manufacturers’ ability to install, commission, operate, and maintain their production lines. The step to fieldbuses provided the benefits of reduced wiring, additional information, and faster diagnostics. It […]
Industrial automation continues to evolve along with the networks that support it. The newest trends are more than buzzwords: Industrie 4.0 and Industrial Internet of Things. These or similar concepts go by different names in different countries. Here is a brief look back at the evolution followed by the impact and relationship of these new concepts.
PROFINET is a mechanism to exchange data between controllers and devices. Controllers could be PLCs, DCSs, or PACs (Programmable Logic Controllers, Distributed Control Systems, or Programmable Automation Controllers.). Devices could be I/O blocks, vision systems, RFID readers, drives, process instruments, proxies, or even other controllers. Fast and Deterministic PROFINET exchanges data quickly and deterministically. Required speeds vary depending on the […]
At its heart, PROFINET is based on standard Ethernet IEEE 802.3 Physical layers using 802.3 supporting components. PROFINET will work on copper Ethernet cable, Fiber Optical (FO) cable, Power Over Ethernet (PoE) cable and Wireless. The components available for your PROFINET infrastructure depend on the harshness of the environment and whether or not you are using PROFINET IRT. PROFINET Infrastructure PROFINET […]
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 […]
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.) […]
Unlike other competitor networks, all PROFINET devices support Link Layer Discovery Protocol (LLDP) which is defined in IEEE standard 802.1AB. There are multiple reasons for LLDP support. The first is to be able to discover, check, and maintain the topology of the PROFINET network and obtain diagnostics if something changes. The second is for easy device commissioning when setting up […]
What’s the MAC address of the device you are viewing this from? The IP Address? What’s your name? The easiest of all those to remember is your name, mine is PNC for short. PROFINET device names are used for the same reasons.
An oft-heard question: “Why do PROFINET devices need IP addresses? PROFINET uses names!” You may have heard the misinformation that PROFINET does not use TCP/IP. The correct information is that it in fact does.
So, the short answer to that oft-heard question: PROFINET uses TCP/IP and therefore needs an IP address.
Fieldbus solutions have been in place for decades in most industries, and there’s an incredible amount of knowledge built up around them. Everything from PROFIBUS to DeviceNet, from 4-20 loops to MODBUS RTU… engineers just graduating with their B.S. degrees were born after most of these automation systems were developed! Migrating these solutions to PROFINET is a common challenge. Every […]
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 […]