Start for new PA Profile 4.0

Today, the field devices in processing plants, flow control, pressure and temperature, for example, but also the actuator technology are controlled either by 4-20 mA signals or by fieldbusses - such as PROFIBUS. They have proven well in their application for many years. On account of Industrie 4.0, the requirements to be met by the communication systems will increase further, however. Today, field devices do not provide one but a number of measured values; for the configuration numerous parameters are available, and devices transmit detailed diagnostic information about their condition. But, the inclusion of the devices in Asset Management Condition Monitoring or other IT systems require higher bandwidths and Ethernet support.

With PROFINET, PI (PROFIBUS & PROFINET International) offers already today a system, which is not only widely spread in manufacturing automation. In process industry also it is used, for example, for the linkage of Remote I/Os or motor management systems.

At an early stage, PI along with users, such as NAMUR, started to intensively work out how PROFINET can be deployed in all areas of the process industry. In the process, it turned out very quickly that PI can offer with PROFINET a complete solution package. Apart from the excellent performance available already today and the extensive diagnosis functions of PROFINET, the device integration was enabled for PROFINET as well, using the Field Device Integration (FDI) technology. Now, the PA profile is rendered available for PROFINET for the first time in a new version, and thus fulfills an important demand of the users. The use of PROFINET has to be easy for users. This is a significant requirement on the new PA profile.

After the requirements have been discussed with manufacturers and users in a first step, PI is now specifying the technical solution. The completion of the new profile has been planned for 2017.

By: Weber