The further development of the proven PROFINET standard is a consequence from the ever larger spread and integration in plants and machines. After all this will also result in new customer requirements for additional functions to record assets in order to design maintenance and operation easier despite increasing complexity of processes and appertaining machines. PI (PROFIBUS & PROFINET International) has reacted consistently.
After a precise clarification of the requirements with user, the PROFINET specification has been expanded by the Asset Management Record function after a concept phase. A digital fingerprint of the plant is now available. Together with the Identification & Maintenance data already proven for PROFINET devices, an extensive registration of devices and machines is possible, even if they are not projected in the PROFINET environment. A simple acquisition of hardware / firmware statuses, installation locations, etc. is necessary in order to check a suitable device installation during startup or upgrading. In addition, the respectively used FW drivers can be checked in this way so that the necessary and approved assets are used for the respective work process. On account of the open TCP/IP communication, these data is not only accessible by a PLC, but additional tools also can access the data without additional measures. These two aspects of Industrie 4.0 - the precise data specification and the simple access from the outside - are thus implemented already today in Asset Management with PROFINET. Qualified machine-readable data only, which are defined cross-vendor, lead to reduced efforts during asset management and to a concrete benefit of Industrie 4.0 applications.
Details on the functions are described in the PROFINET specification as well as in the known developer documents, such as in the PI Recommendation "PROFINET" field devices, recommendation on design and implementation". For members these documents are available for free download at www.profinet.com.