The 2-day Plugfest for the PROFINET community has ended with great success. PI (PROFIBUS & PROFINET International) hosts these Plugfests on a regular basis in order to test different implementations of PROFINET components in an open and uncomplicated atmosphere. This event focused on issues surrounding IRT/Drives, diagnostics/topology and network loading, in particular.
This Plugfest took place at the Institut für Automation & Industrial IT (AIT) on the Gummersbach campus of the Cologne University of Applied Sciences. AIT has served as a PI Competence Center and Test Lab for many years and thus offered the ideal environment to address all developer questions.
There were different constellations from small groups up to a large shared network. Participants particularly appreciated the open exchange of experience among specification experts, device developers, and certification bodies. "In spite of the detailed documentation, it is always better to test something yourself and discuss the result with like-minded people," said Volker Goller of Innovasic. "Apart from that, the device selection continues to increase so that it is very helpful to test new devices in advance. At Plugfest there is always the opportunity to discuss a specific question with other participants and to gain inspiration from that."
Basic technology, devices, controllers, systems, engineering tools, and diagnostic tools were tested both with pilot devices as well as with devices just introduced on the market. The event was supplemented with additional presentations on current topics.
The importance of the Plugfest goes far beyond solving developer problems. Specifically, the experience gained is used for continuous improvement of the certification process and the developer documentation. The event at the Institut für Automation & Industrial IT (AIT) was already the third one of this type. Based on the tremendous success of this event, it will be continued next year.