PROFINET Node Count Rises 40 Percent in 2008

PI announces that the PROFINET node count has hit 1.6 million, signaling broad market acceptance and wide availability of products, tools and application support.

Aw 3090 09 03 Tech Feature3
The node count for PROFINET devices rose to 1.6 million through the end of 2008, a 40 percent increase over 2007, according to figures published recently by PROFIBUS & PROFINET International (PI,, the German-based organization that oversees the PROFI family of fieldbus standards. PROFINET is the PROFI version of industrial Ethernet.

PI also reported that PROFINET is being used in most developed countries in the world, with North America running second to Europe, and Asia in third place. Latest figures suggest that there are 200 PROFINET products and services from more than 30 suppliers on the market, according to the PTO, (, the North American PROFI group.

Carl Henning, deputy director of PTO North America, notes that the way nodes are counted is important. “We counted only controllers (PLCs), remote IO stations, HMIs, robots, proxies, drives and sensors,” says Henning. “Note that we did not count each IO module, just the IO station.

“How did we count the nodes?” asks Henning. “This is a lot harder than counting PROFIBUS nodes because PROFINET uses just standard Ethernet—no chip is required.  So we engaged an independent third party to count anonymously and told the notary which companies to contact. The companies returned their count directly to the notary. We never saw the individual companies’ numbers, just the total.”

PROFI power savings

In other news, PI has begun work on a major energy saving initiative for automation by developing a manufacturer-independent “profile” for PROFINET that can support improved power management of high energy machines and equipment such as robots, lasers and motors over a network.

Members of the German automotive group AIDA, which includes Audi, BMW, Daimler, Porsche and Volkswagen, have requested the initiative to help cut energy costs and meet latest energy use requirements. AIDA companies already use PROFINET extensively. A Working Group was founded in February and is now developing use cases from the guidelines laid down.

The profile is expected to support a set of “power-saving” modes for high-energy equipment, and how these modes can be actively managed over the network.

Profibus & Profinet International


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