PI (PROFIBUS & PROFINET International) has appointed its 50th PI Competence Center (PICC) for PROFIBUS and PROFINET. The latest organization to have successfully passed the accreditation process is KW Software of Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.
PI Competence Centers play an important role in the global PI Community by providing high quality technical and marketing support for PROFIBUS and PROFINET, ranging from manning trade fair booths to teaching engineers about the design, installation and maintenance of PROFIBUS and PROFINET systems. There is keen interest from companies and universities in becoming an approved PICC.
KW Software GmbH is a subsidiary of Phoenix Contact, one of the chief supporters of PROFINET around the world. It will offer workshops, training classes and technical support for PROFINET in the American market and has particular skills in the integration of PROFINET in automation devices. It was the developer of the TPS-1 Tiger chip for low-cost PROFINET slaves and recently signed an agreement with Intel to provide software for their new i210 Ethernet Controller as an easily-implementable solution for PROFINET RT and PROFINET IRT masters.
Business Development Manager for KW Software Americas, Michael Mason, commented: “Becoming a PI Competence Center opens up new doors for KW Software and the PROFINET community. At our Ann Arbor facility we have certified PROFINET engineers and the right kind of world class PROFINET equipment necessary for automation vendors to fully leverage what is the best and most popular Industrial Ethernet standard in the world. We look forward to helping the PROFINET community by providing dependable solutions for all kinds of automation vendors.”
Michael Bryant, Executive Director of PI North America is delighted to have this new PICC in his region. “The need for PROFINET support is growing dramatically in USA, Canada and Mexico,” he said, “particularly since major North American car manufacturers decided to use it as their production networking standard.“
More about the PI Network
The number of PICCs will grow during the next 12 month, says PI. Candidates in Argentina and Japan have already indicated their interest. Eleven existing PICCs are also accredited as PI Test Labs (PITLs), where certification tests on products having PROFIBUS and PROFINET interfaces are undertaken. Test reports generated by PITLs are the basis for granting certificates of compliance, a mandatory requirement for PROFINET. PI also accredits official Training Centers (PITCs), where attendees passing globally-standardized exams can qualify to become Certified PROFIBUS/PROFINET Installers or Engineers.