The number of available PROFINET products from different member companies of PI (PROFIBUS & PROFINET International) is rising steadily. For integration of comprehensive PROFINET functions, device manufacturers have access to a large selection of basic technology suppliers, ranging from suppliers of FW solutions on standard Ethernet controllers and FPGAs to specialized PROFINET ASICs.
Problem-free interaction of the resulting devices in machines and systems is ensured through the device certification program of PI (PROFIBUS & PROFINET International). The required tests are continually expanded in scope as functions are added but also based on experience gained. For example, tests for PROFINET Specification V2.3 have been agreed on with the developer community and will be available to test labs starting in April 2014. In addition, a test designed with users to test the robustness of devices against network load is now mandatory for PROFINET V2.3 devices. Corresponding tools are available to device manufacturers for preliminary tests (free of charge for PI members). This enables faster completion of the certification process in test labs accredited by PI.
The interoperability of the growing number of PROFINET devices is safeguarded by the continuous certification expansion.