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Profibus "Maturity" Declared

The number of devices with Profibus  embedded has now surpassed 20 million, says Mike Bryant, executive director of the Profibus Trade Organization (PTO

PTO Executive Director Mike Bryant poses with Pretty Polly and Sweet Sue - two characters from PTO's Profinet brochure.
PTO Executive Director Mike Bryant poses with Pretty Polly and Sweet Sue - two characters from PTO's Profinet brochure.

Announcement of this latest milestone came at the PTO general annual meeting Aug. 1-2 in Scottsdale, Ariz. PTO is the U.S. organization that is part of Profibus International, and holds the annual affair to keep members informed on the status of Profibus fieldbus family protocols and associated marketing programs.

At the meeting, Bryant noted that the 20 million device mark is a result of 15 years of work, but that the growth curve over the past few years has been especially steep. The milestone means that the network has reached a critical mass and a stage of maturity in the growth cycle, he said. “If you’re not making money now, you should be,” he told attendees.

Profibus is the original network in the family, and comes in two flavors—DP (for Decentralized Periphery), primarily for factory automation, and PA, for process automation. The complete suite of products includes Profinet, an Ethernet-based implementation, ProfiSafe—a safety network—and Profinet IRT (Isochronous Real Time) for motion control applications.

Mintchell on blogs

Automation World Editor In Chief Gary Mintchell presented the keynote speech at the event, discussing new media marketing communication methods. Citing noted automation industry bloggers such as PTO’s own Carl Henning, author of the “PTO Profiblog,” Mintchell explained how the genre of blogging allows a company or organization to put on a personal face to the community.

The term blog is short for Weblog, and refers to an online journal that is updated regularly. Mintchell himself writes a blog, known as “Gary Mintchell’s Feed Forward,” which can be reached through a link on the Automation World Web site. 

The blog format allows readers the opportunity to feel that they get to know a company or organization and to gain a measure of trust. In this world of hype and spin, a trusted communication source is essential to getting a message out, and for PTO, Henning fits the trusted source definition, Mintchell said. In the breezy, informal style of a blog, Henning is able to present the Profibus point of view, inform the community and correct misstatements about Profibus that occasionally occur in other communications.

Members and attendees were also treated at the meeting to a screening of “Safety: The Movie,” a look at safety applications using ProfiSafe.


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