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Identification Systems Profile Now Available for PROFINET

At the recent SPS Show in Germany, the PI organization announced “Identification Systems—Proxy Ident Function Block” profile support for PROFINET.

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Product tracing and optimization of logistics processes are playing a more and more important role in industry, resulting in the need for Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) systems to be integrated into higher-level company networks. To support this integration, PI (PROFIBUS & PROFINET International) is now making the “Identification Systems—Proxy Ident Function Block” profile available for PROFINET systems.

The interoperability between the controller and identification systems is based on agreements regarding communication events, basic application services, and the programming language to be used. The Proxy Ident Block (PIB) device block, based on IEC 61131-3, has been specified for this purpose. In this process, the communication interface has been encapsulated by function blocks, and a uniform interface to the control program has been created.

With the extension of the profile, both PROFIBUS and PROFINET modules can now be addressed via a uniform interface. Thus, the foundation is laid for enabling device block access to identification devices in the PROFINET network, as well. As a result it is now possible to use the same PIB block to integrate both PROFIBUS and PROFINET devices. The new profile version is backward compatible.

With the profile, users can deploy identification devices from different providers via a standardized interface. This can result in a significant time-savings during commissioning, which reduces costs for system integrators and ultimately for operators.

SPS Show Highlights

The SPS/IPC/DRIVES 2009 conference, held November 24-26 in Nuremburg, Germany, was a forum for experts from industry and science in the automation field. There were more than 1,200 exhibits attracting about 48,500 visitors, an attendance increase over 2008.

The PI booth at the SPS show featured PROFINET and PROFIBUS products and solutions. In addition to announcing the Proxy Ident Block profile for PROFINET, PI made several other important announcments at SPS, including new developments in the PROFIenergy profile and certification of the PROFIBUS PA profile V3.02. As well, the booth highlighted  PROFIsafe solutions, IO-Link fieldbus-neutral communications for intelligent I/O, and multiple demonstrations from vendors supporting PROFINET products and solutions. For more information, visit Carl Henning’s PROFIblog,, or the PI Web site at

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