| May 3, 2012
Ethernet, Collaborative Platforms are the Future
With all technology trend lines showing that 1) everything is moving toward the use of Ethernet to enable more connected enterprises and 2) greater use of cloud computing, automation vendor GE Intelligent Platforms (www.ge-ip.com) announced that it has standardized on Profinet as its communication backbone of choice.
“We’re simplifying how we think about the industrial communication backbone and focusing on Ethernet,” said Bernie Anger, general manager of control and communication systems for GE Intelligent Platforms. “And, based on its technological merits, we see Profinet as the core industrial communication backbone.” Anger spoke at the Profinet Executive Leadership Forum in February 2012, hosted by PI North America, a non-profit, member-supported organization for fieldbus and Industrial Ethernet, specifically Profibus and Profinet. Anger joined PI North America’s board in April 2011. Part of Anger’s explanation for GE Intelligent Platform’s (www.ge-ip.com)“Skype is the fastest growing telecommunications company in the world,” Anger said. “It has no infrastructure, but it is the third largest telecommunications provider. Skype has 8.1 million paying customers paying on average $96 a year for various services. In addition, 35 percent of Skype of users are business.”
support of Profinet revolved around GE’s expectations for the future of industrial operations. Anger pointed to three trends that GE sees gathering steam in the industrial sector:
- Wide use of Ethernet and standard protocols;
- Use of scalable collaborative platforms for design, production and supply chain operations; and
- Development of ecosystems, sometimes ad hoc, for engineering support.
With all these trends clearly pointing to a more connected future for industry, Anger added that you’re “screwed if you’re not standardizing on Ethernet.
The specific technological merits of Profinet that Anger referenced in his presentation at the forum, included:
- Ability to deploy thousands of nodes with 1 ms updates;
- Bumpless network recovery;
- Rich alarm and diagnostics;
- Easy node re-insertion; and
- A good ecosystem for support and multiple different vendor devices that support the protocol.
“It works better than anything out there,” Anger added.
>> David Greenfield, [email protected], is Media and Events Director for Automation World.
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