New ARC White Paper: "PROFINET in the Process Industries"

New ARC White Paper: "PROFINET in the Process Industries"


In its new White Paper titled "PROFINET in the Process Industries", the ARC Advisory Group reports in detail on PROFINET trends and perspectives in process automation. Now that PROFINET has proven itself in the factory automation, initiatives are taken for applying it to the area of process automation. The key issues here are the ability to protect investments by integrating existing systems, functional safety and the definition of profiles in order to achieve standardization. PI (PROFIBUS & PROFINET International) takes account of the wide-ranging needs of process control system operators in pursuit of its aim of establishing PROFINET as a plant-wide network. Case studies of existing applications help emphasize the practical suitability of the solution and the availability of products.


Over recent years, the plant operators in process automation have invested significant amounts in existing PROFIBUS, HART or FF systems. The PI migration strategy, whereby existing networks can be integrated into a PROFINET system by means of proxies, provides the necessary investment protection and means that PROFINET can be used as a plant-wide system bus.


Wit PROFIsafe (the safe communication protocol for PROFIBUS and PROFINET up to SIL 3) there is no need for a separate safety bus. The PROFIsafe application profile is not linked to a specific communication profile and is, therefore, compatible with devices connected over PROFIBUS DP, PA or even PROFINET.


To take account of the specific requirements of different applications, PROFIBUS supports a range of device and application profiles such as PROFIdrive, PROFIsafe or IO Devices. PI is expanding the existing PROFIBUS profiles for PROFINET so that it can be used in the various application areas, especially in process automation as well. The PROFIdrive, PROFIsafe and PA Devices profiles have already been adapted for use with PROFINET. Other profiles such as the profiles for weighing and dosage systems, intelligent pumps, remote I/O for process controls and laboratory device are scheduled for release in 2007.


The complete study can be downloaded free of charge from the PI homepage at



By: Weber