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Today, the field devices in processing plants, flow control, pressure and temperature, for example, but also the actuator technology are controlled either by 4-20 mA signals or by fieldbuses – such as PROFIBUS. They have proven well in their application for many years. On account of Industrie 4.0, the requirements to be met by the communication systems will increase further, however. Today, field devices do not provide one but a number of measured values; for the configuration numerous parameters are available, and devices transmit detailed diagnostic information about their condition. But, the inclusion of the devices in Asset Management Condition Monitoring or other IT systems require higher bandwidths and Ethernet support.

With PROFINET, PI (PROFIBUS & PROFINET International) offers already today a system, which is not only widely spread in manufacturing automation. In process industry also it is used, for example, for the linkage of Remote I/Os or motor management systems.

Michael Pelz“Close cooperation between manufacturer and user organizations beginning at the early phase of a new technology unleashes great synergy potential. This provides the best opportunity for introducing a new technology, both cost-effectively in production by the supplier and efficiently at the plants of the user.”

-Michael Pelz, head of Namur Working Area 2
“Automation Systems for Processes and Plants”

At an early stage, PI along with users, such as NAMUR, started to intensively work out how PROFINET can be deployed in all areas of the process industry. Very quickly it became clear that PI can offer with PROFINET a complete solution package. Apart from the excellent performance available already today and the extensive diagnostic functions of PROFINET, the device integration was enabled for PROFINET as well, using the Field Device Integration (FDI) technology. Now, the PA profile is rendered available for PROFINET for the first time in a new version, and thus fulfills an important demand of the users. The use of PROFINET has to be easy for all users. This is a significant requirement of the new PA profile.

After the requirements have been discussed with manufacturers and users in a first step, PI is now specifying the technical solution. Completion of the new profile is planned for 2017.