PROFIBUS & PROFINET International (www.profibus.com) has reached another milestone for PROFINET, after the completion of the PROFINET for the Process Automation application profile. Thus, PROFINET is now ideally suited for both process and manufacturing automation, said PI.
Process automation has strict requirements for availability and reliability. For instance, plants are required to operate 24/7, 365 days a year with no interruption, and this must be sustained to make improvements in the production process. The causes of errors should be identified immediately, irrespective of the complexity of the actuators and sensors used. Other challenges include the large number of signals in the plant – usually number up to 100,000.
These requirements identified four main aspects that were integrated in the new profile: configuration in run; integration of existing fieldbuses; scalable redundancy; and time synchronization and time stamping.
Manufacturers can now implement these functions in their PROFINET products for process automation applications.
Important basic mechanisms underlying the “PROFINET for Process Automation’ application profile are already in the PROFINET Specification V2.3, which was released just in time for SPS/IPC/DRIVES 2010 in November. Aside from the new process automation-relevant specifications, the PROFINET Specification’s new version also includes specifications for high performance.