Hazardous Environments and Industrial Automation

Hazardous environments are areas where flammable liquids, gases or vapors or combustible dust exist in sufficient quantities to produce an explosion or fire. In hazardous environments, specially designed equipment and special installation techniques must be used to protect against the explosive and flammable potential of these substances. (OSHA Publication 3073) There are three factors which have to be present in order for there to […]

Process Automation Background

 History The “Process Industry” includes the waste water treatment, food & beverage, chemical, oil & gas, and pulp & paper industries. In the past, plant operators had to physically monitor performance values and the quality of outputs to determine the best settings on which to run production equipment. Process automation simplified this with the help of sensors at thousands of spots around […]

PROFINET Proxies and Gateways

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 […]

Industrial Automation Wireless Types

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 […]

Project Planning

Planning a development roadmap for a PROFINET project is critical for a smooth process and on-time product release.  There are four basic steps (and partners) you’ll need to work with to complete the project.  The first and last, joining PI and applying for a product certificate, are pretty straightforward transactions.  Everything in between is where the interesting stuff happens and […]

PROFINET Development: First Steps

We need to put PROFINET on our device.  Where do we start? This is a question we field nearly every week, and this section gives you the background, resources, and contacts to get up and moving with your PROFINET project. There are a lot of resources out there explaining the process of developing a PROFINET product.  In addition to PROFINET […]

The PROFINET Certification Process

PROFINET certification can be an intimidating process, but it doesn’t have to be.  Knowing what you’re getting into before you complete the test application not only sets expectations, but it also puts you in a position to streamline the process. Step 1: Choose a Test Lab PI Test Labs operate as independent and accredited institutions. They aren’t part of the […]