I&M Functions: New Functionality Brings Advantages for the PROFIBUS Users

Karlsruhe ? 19 April 2004:

PROFIBUS International (PI) is introducing a new functionality for all PROFIBUS devices with acyclical communication channel under the term ?Identification & Maintenance (I&M) Functions? which will be of great benefit particularly to system operators. The I&M functions specify how certain device describing data (similar to a nameplate), must be unambiguously stored in PROFIBUS devices. Engineering tools can then read out these data and interpret them via a key that can be accessed on the PROFIBUS server. This allows access to all the important and current information of the device.

Some PROFIBUS profiles have already arranged for individual information functions in the past, such as information about the manufacturer, order designation, release numbers, etc., a uniform and powerful functionality has now been specified. Starting July 2005, the I&M functions will be binding for all PROFIBUS devices. The I&M function links the device-based information with central, daily updated information of a manufacturer for each individual device via the Internet. This creates essential prerequisites for a powerful asset management for PROFIBUS.

The I&M functions offer room for profile-specific as well as manufacturer-specific expansions. The decoding information for interpreting the records read from devices can be loaded centrally from the PROFIBUS web server from XML tables by the engineering tool or other software package. All the information is also available for offline operation (without Internet access). The same mechanisms also ensure that the parameter designations are uniformly displayed at the user interface in the different languages.

Part of the device-specific basic information is a unique (asset) identification using a manufacturer identification, the order designation of the device and its individual serial number. Important information available about the manufacturing time complete the asset identification. This includes, for example, hardware and software release numbers as well as the assignment to a specific profile.

As soon as a device is used for a certain task, this operating purpose is naturally of interest to the operator. This includes location feature and function feature. Even a backup code can be integrated in the I&M functions using the currently defined parameter set and, thereby, supports non-proprietary audit trailing, i.e., the control and tracking of process parameters as required in pharmaceutical-relevant or safety-relevant systems.
Starting immediately manufacturers of PROFIBUS devices can register with the PI Support Centre to obtain a manufacturer ID and gain access to the I&M configuration area on the PROFIBUS web server. For companies with an HART number, the existing HART number is used as manufacturer ID.

Press Contact

PROFIBUS International
Support Centre
Barbara Weber
Haid-und-Neu-Str. 7
76131 Karlsruhe
Phone: ++ 49 7 21 / 96 58 - 5 49
Fax: ++ 49 7 21 / 96 58 - 5 89

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