Questions and Answers About Product Certification
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Since the specifications for PROFIBUS and PROFINET are open and standardized, it is possible for anyone to build and sell devices. However, not all devices are equal and to ensure that users get the quality of product they deserve, PI operates conformance programs. Enacted via the network of independent PITLs (Test Labs) and securely administered by PI itself, conformance testing ensures that devices meet relevant specifications and that interoperability is never an issue in the field.
Certified devices are an end user's guarantee of quality.
But not all devices have to be tested and certified. The following table gives an overview for which technology certification is mandatory:
|Mandatory||Strongly Recommended||Not Certifiable|
|Passive Components||--||--|| |
1 see PROFIsafe Policy for additional requests
2 see "Do passive components have to be certified?" and "Is there a list of PROFINET Passive Network Components?" at the end of this page
3 together with PROFINET
4 only together with PROFIBUS
The Figure illustrates the goal-oriented chronological sequence of field device development. Comprehensive advice in the run-up to a development project is vital to enable optimal design of the development process. To assist with this, PI regularly conducts free one-day technology workshops (see address below for schedule) in Germany as well as in the USA and other countries. There you will receive an overview of implementation options, available technology, and technology providers (www.profibus.com/trainingevents/).
A certification test is exclusively offered by an accredited PITL. A list of PITLs and the contact information can be obtained from the PI Website.
Just get in contact with one of the mentioned PITL and they will guide you through the certification process.
The quote of the PI Test Laboratory is regulated by the PITL itself. Double check in advance that the PITL, where you would like to have the DUT (Device under Test) tested, is allowed to offer the test. Then fill out a test contract and fix a date for the test rather early to make sure you can launch your field device just in time. Keep in mind that a test date may need to be requested a few weeks or months in advance based on the PITL workload.
Members of PI can prepare for the test by using the PROFINET Test Bundle. It contains all documents, software and instructions needed for the test. It is the software used in PI’s test labs, too. Members may download the PROFINET Test Bundle free of charge. Non-members can not buy it.
General rules for the certification tests are fixed in the document Framework for Testing and Certification of PROFIBUS and PROFINET Products for the PITLs.
The test environment for PROFINET is defined and in each PITL the same.
The PROFINET tests are automation tests. So worldwide same test results occur.
- Technology Partners typically collaborate on the specification, convert the basic specification into hardware and firmware for device development, and provide support for the realization of a PROFINET connection. These are globally active companies with many years of experience in industrial communication.
- PROFIBUS & PROFINET Competence Centers (PICC) are organizations with technical expertise that collaborate closely with the regional PI associations. Some technology partners are also a PICC. The PICCs provide technical support to device and system developers and conduct technical seminars and workshops.
- PI Test Labs (PITLs) are test labs accredited by PI that perform certification tests for PROFINET devices.
- For PROFINET: PROFINET device test bundle (for members only), device manufacturer can perform the tests as part of their development process
- For PROFINET: the brochure PROFINET Field Devices - Recommendations for Design and Implementation gives hints for device implementation
The certification test depends on the technology. For a PROFINET device therefore the PITL checks the correct implementation of
- hardware interface,
- PROFINET mandatory and optional functionality,
- reaction on faulty behaviour,
- robustness against net load,
- proper working in a reference automation plant in a test laboratory,
- state machines.
After execution of the certification test, the applicant will receive a test report from the PITL. With the positive test report the applicant can then apply for a certificate at the PI Certification Office (PICO) within 3 years. Therefore send the test report and a filled application form via e-mail to certification(at)profibus(dot)com.
The granted certificate is valid for a period of 3 years. It can be prolonged if certain criteria are fulfilled.
By any modification of the device the certificate gets invalid. Contact your PITL to find out if a retest is necessary. With a new test report or a positve statement of the PITL ask PICO for an updated certificate.
The manufacturer can ask for prolongation of the validity of the certificate within 3 months before to 3 months after the validity expires. For this purpose, send an application form and a manufacturer declaration to PICO.
This declaration must contain the following statements:
- Declaring the unchanged conformance of the product with the tested prototype in hardware and software in accordance with the test report (the last favorable test).
- That there is no newer version of the device that uses the same device identification, i.e. Vendor-ID, Device-ID, DAP-Module-ID.
Otherwise the prolongation requires a retest.
There are two different types of certificates for PROFINET:
- Device Certificate (for PROFIBUS and PROFINET): Certificate related to a “real device” which is sold to the end customer.
E.g. an IO-station, drive, PLC,…
This is the “real” certificate for a device which shows the customer of a device manufacturer that this device is tested according to the standards of the technology.
- Technology Certificate (only for PROFINET): Certificate related to a technology reference implementation which is never sold to an end customer. E.g. an evaluation board, ASIC, Software stack, module, plugin board.
This certificate shows the customer of a technology provider that a software or hardware component he intends to use in his PROFINET device is “precertified” according to the standards of the technology.
You can find an overview of the costs for a certificate in the document Charges for Product Registration and Certification. Please note the costs for testing in the PITL are not included.
The PROFIsafe certificate is only part of the whole safety certification. For the safety aspect you have to ask the TUV or another "Notified Body".
The PROFIsafe certificate is an input for this procedure.
The device is brand labelled by another vendor without any change of hardware and firmware. Of cause the brand labelled device has a different vendor ID and GSD file.
The brand labelling vendor can apply for a certificate based on the test report from the original manufacturer if he adds a manufacturer declaration (see How to get a certificate for details).
The identity changing PROFINET device shows different identities if it is attached to different automation devices, because the device is used with different applications and/or different vendors. The PROFINET device itself always runs the same software/firmware. E.g. such a device changer may be a PROFINET PC card plugged into an automation PC and gets it's identity from the application software at the PC. Because of changed identity there may be different vendor IDs and GSD files.
The device can be tested as an “identity changing device” at the PITL.
Passive components can not be certified.
In order to ensure the easy and reliable PROFINET installation and a high product quality, a manufacturers declaration system has been set up for PROFINET passive network components.
The PROFINET installation is based on a component approach for passive network components, which is standardised in the IEC 61784-5-3.
The requirement for this approach is, that the passive components fulfil the PROFINET Guideline “PROFINET Cabling and Interconnection Technology”.
For passive PROFINET components the conformity shall be declared by the manufacturer of the product. The PROFINET logo may only be used for these products.