PROFIBUS and PROFINET have been established worldwide as standard technology for both production automation and the process industry. One reason for this success is the broad support of all leading automation technology manufacturers. And this support is no accident. From the outset, PI (PROFIBUS & PROFINET International) has taken steps to ensure that many manufacturers participate in developing the technology. The Advisory Board was established to guide this technology development. It is made up of the Board of Directors, the committee leaders, and elected members. To fulfill its responsibility, the Advisory Board has held regular meetings. Thus the 100th meeting of the Advisory Board took place at the end of June 2014.
The main mission of the Advisory Board – to guide the technology development – is accomplished by specifying goals for working group activities and monitoring these activities. In addition, it is responsible for coordinating the contents and solutions of the working groups within and between the various committees and for approving work products.
The many years of continuous work of the Advisory Board is a basis for the sustained success of the PI technologies as well as the commercial success of products with integrated technologies. An important boundary condition in this regard is the openness. That is, specifications and guidelines are available to any interested party for implementation in products or use in systems and applications. This openness is ensured by the makeup of the Advisory Board. From the beginning, participants from different member companies representing the various industry sectors, applications, and markets have belonged to it. Currently the Advisory Board is composed of 13 companies and institutes.
Within the framework of the created committee and working group structure and through the close cooperation established with end user organizations such as NAMUR, VDMA, and AIDA, this composition enables development of technologies with strong application orientation that are not only open but also high-quality. This, in turn, has been an impetus for companies to integrate the technologies comprehensively in their products and to use them in systems and applications. PI has thus established a sound basis for long-term market success. PROFIBUS and PROFINET are global market leaders today. This is demonstrated by the impressive number of devices and controllers installed in the market.
The development continues. The Advisory Board members are making sure of this. For this reason, it took the opportunity of its 100th meeting to catch up on the latest concrete findings on the issue of Industry 4.0 from inside experts. Evaluation of the effects on PNO technologies and definition of next steps has thus been started.