PROFIBUS & PROFINET International (PI) is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. Despite its long market presence, PROFIBUS is still reporting impressive market growth. At the end of 2014, nearly 51 million PROFIBUS devices were installed in industrial plants worldwide, about 3.5 million more than the previous year. At the same time, PROFIBUS in process automation is also recording steady growth. Currently, more than 9 million PROFIBUS devices are installed in the process automation sector, around 800,000 more than the previous year. These figures prove that user confidence in PROFIBUS is as high as ever. User confidence over the long term is extremely important for PI and is being ensured with continuous and consistent innovation. For PI the logical consequence of this is to make PROFINET fit for use in process automation.
The success of PROFIBUS PA is based on three aspects: its ease of installation and operation, the many possibilities resulting from uniform diagnostics according to NAMUR NE 107, and its performance with fast uploading and downloading of parameters. The availability of a high-performance solution for hazardous areas also naturally plays a major role in the process industry. "Users also appreciate its reliability, for instance, in that all versions are compatible with one another. It is now important to achieve the same result for PROFINET," explained Karsten Schneider, Chairman of PROFIBUS Nutzerorganisation e.V. and Chairman of PROFIBUS & PROFINET International (PI).
With the approximately 10 million installed PROFINET devices, the signs point to growth for PROFINET as well. For Schneider the logical consequence is to work in close collaboration with users to align PROFINET with the needs of process automation. "PROFINET has stood for reliable and sustainable communication technology in production automation for some years now and is already doing so today in process automation. That is why many industrial enterprises – both manufacturers and users – are increasingly relying on PROFINET," commented Schneider on the latest node counts. Schneider also stressed that future process industry users can be confident that investment protection will remain a top priority.