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, www.profibus.com), 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 March Profinews e-newsletter prepared by the Profibus Trade Organization (PTO, www.us.profibus.com), Scottsdale, Ariz., the North American Profi group.
The newsletter noted that the way nodes are counted is important. The organization only counts controllers such as programmable logic controllers, remote input/output (I/O) stations, human-machine interfaces (HMIs), robots, proxies, drives, and sensors. Only I/O stations are included in the count, not each I/O module. A neutral third party is used for gathering the data in confidence from all Profinet vendors and combining them into a single publishable figure, the organization said.
Profi power savings
The newsletter also said that PI in Germany 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, the newsletter said. 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
Profibus Trade Organization