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PROFINET - the leading Industrial Ethernet Standard

www.profinet.comPROFINET has become the leading Industrial Ethernet Standard in the market. This globally established and future-oriented technology is supported by many product vendors, thus ensuring long-term availability and investment protection.

PROFINET Ecosystem Platform

With the PROFINET Ecosystem Platform, PI (PROFIBUS & PROFINET International) has set up a virtual collaboration space for

anyone who would like to actively play a part in the future of PROFINET technology.

More information

PROFINET is a widely used industrial communication standard with several benefits that make it popular in industrial applications of different industries.

Find out about the key benefits right here:



PROFINET nodes 2022

Find out everything you need to know about PROFINET Implementation!

PROFINET offers value-added functions such as parallel TCP/IP communication, large configuration limits, and high speed. The diagnostics are best-in-class, topology views enable uncomplicated documentation, and error location is facilitated.

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PROFINET Implementation

PROFINET Device Integration

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PROFINET Performance

Fast Forwarding

Fast Forwarding

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Fast Forwarding reduces the forwarding times in switches. Especially in longer line structures, an advantage in transmission speed can be achieved.

Dynamic Frame Packing

Dynamic FramePacking

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Dynamic Frame Packing reduces the overhead of small IO-data packages, thus bandwidth is used in a very efficient way.



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With Fragmentation extremely short cycle times of 31.25 µs can be realized. Time uncritical TCP/IP telegrams are fragmented in smaller parts and have no impact on the PROFINET communication.

PROFINET uniquely combines the highest performance with the highest degree of openness.In the specification V2.3 the mechanisms ‚Fast Forwarding’, ‚Dynamic Frame Packing’ and ‚Fragmentation’ have been defined as a performance upgrade for PROFINET, enabling cycle times down to 31.25µs – with unrestricted transfer of standard data in parallel. PROFINET thus provides the necessary performance to meet even future application requirements.
PROFINET - best in performance - best in speed!

PROFINET Diagnostics

High productivity is a major topic for each plant and machine. While short cycle times allow increasing the speed of production, improvement of availability of machines and plants requires easy and fast diagnosis mechanisms
When an error occurs immediate answers to the main questions are required:

  • What has happened? 
  • Where is the error located? 
  • Which device is affected? 

The consistent diagnostics of PROFINET makes it possible to gain an overview of the state of a machine or plant within the shortest possible time. 

All relevant information can be accessed in an easy and fast way – completely manufacturer independent. Hence you are able to reduce downtimes by up to 50%!

PROFINET Diagnostics_EN

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PROFINET diagnostics are based on the proven concepts of PROFIBUS and have been extended by Ethernet specific functionalities, especially for network diagnostics. With the new possibilities of Ethernet based networks, diagnostics also get accessible via web tools. Thus no engineering system is necessary anymore for trouble-shooting. By means of topology information, errors can be located precisely. Device replacement can be carried out without engineering or memory cards. Therefore PROFINET gives comprehensive answers to all open questions and reduces the downtime in the production. PROFINET – Best in Diagnosis – Best in availability!

From update rate to cycle time: PROFINET for beginners and advanced users – or those switching from other systems

Congested motorways, many intersections with traffic lights and the ever-present heavy-goods vehicles slowing you down – traffic obstructions such as these are a nuisance not only to car drivers. In automated networks such as PROFINET, the “data highway” of the industry, so to speak, such obstacles play a decisive role in the quality of the communication and thus also affect the production results. Those users who are aware of the significance of this correlation and who set up their networks accordingly are awarded with long-term stable data communication.

A seven-minute movie explains the basic technical principles behind PROFINET and is aimed at beginners, users switching from other systems, as well as advanced users who need a refresher. It is thus the first element in the theory lessons for the “PROFINET driving licence”, so to speak.

Take a look!

PROFINET - The Movie | Technology Made Easy

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Safety with PROFINET

The protection of humans, production equipment and the environment is a major topic for each type of industrial application. Different measures have to be applied in order to comply with the large variety of laws and regulations.

As this topic has a legal character, no machine builder or plant operator may ignore the importance of safety solutions. Different international standards define measures to comply with legal requirements.

As safety always means the integration of additional equipment, like emergency stops or safe sensors, the integration of such a system should be as lean as possible. If applying safety measures in classical way additional safety components are required and a second engineering part takes place.

Safety with PROFINET

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In contrast, PROFINET in combination with PROFIsafe enables solutions where no additional cabling is required; no special link between application and safety solution has to be engineered: Safety is just integrated. PROFIsafe transports critical data in a safe way over the same PROFINET network as standard IO data. This so called black channel principle is proven since many years in thousands of industrial applications.

And in addition, PROFIsafe on PROFINET delivers more functionality: A fast device replacement of devices can be realized without any engineering tool thanks to the iPar server. Safety data can be transported even via wireless LAN and new functions like “safely limited speed” enable new use-cases like maintenance on machines in operation. PROFINET with PROFIsafe is the safe solution delivering added value even in the strictly regulated area of safety.

PROFINET Security- the easy and affordable security concept

Parallel to the first PROFINET specifications, PI published a comprehensive security concept that was further detailed and adapted in several steps. Then, as now, the same requirements apply: It is not enough to simply protect plant networks and automation components - the protection mechanisms and concepts used must also not disrupt ongoing production operations. In addition, protection concepts must remain easy to implement and affordable.


Proven concept

The IT security concept for PROFINET is based on a defense-in-depth approach. In this approach, the production plant is protected against attacks, especially from the outside, by a multi-level perimeter, including firewalls. In addition, further protection is possible within the plant by dividing it into zones using firewalls. In addition, a security component test ensures that the PROFINET components are resistant to overload to a certain extent. This concept is supported by organizational measures in the production plant as part of a security management system. Security therefore requires measures at all levels.

Security measures are always changing

However, security is a topic that has to be constantly adapted to current developments and is therefore never complete. This is especially true against the background of increase networking in production facilities.

To name a few key points:

1. Open communication

PROFINET components with added value, such as Web services or OPC UA connectivity, could lead to increased direct communicationwith higher-level systems outside a defined security zone. At the same time, it is becoming increasingly difficult to separate PROFINET networks. This could result in an increased risk of attacks on PROFINET components.

2. Larger networks

More and more components are being connected to a network and interacting with each other. A successful attack on a single (PC) system within such a cell could therefore bypasses advance protection measures.

3. Large-scale systems

Widely distributed facilities hinder the physical protection of networks and access points. As a result, unauthorized persons can gain access to the PROFINET network.

4. Additional protection measures

Previous concepts, which mainly rely on sealing off production facilities, must be supplemented by new concepts that enable protection within the cell. Therefore, the existing measures are extended by further protective measures. These include credential management, e.g. for device authentication, and an end-to-end security extension for PROFINET communication as a configuration option.

Since every application has different security requirements, PROFINET offers different Security Classes.

See the following video for more information.



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Energy Management with PROFINET

PI has been the first organization to create a profile based on PROFINET for energy management: PROFIenergy.
Along with energy data acquisition, PROFIenergy stands out by the possibility to easily shut down machinery and system parts during pauses in a controlled way. The network itself remains available at any time and the devices can be accessed. PROFIenergy always ensures that the whole system is available again in time.

Many production units are not running 24h per day and 7 days a week. Those machines have an enormous potential to reduce the energy consumption in pauses. With PROFIenergy, unneeded devices can be switched to an energy saving mode – manufacturer independent and reliable.

Thus, energy savings during pauses of up to 80% can be achieved!

PROFINET for Energy Management_EN

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Machine Controls with PROFINET

Not only in plant construction but also in machine contraction, the flexible architecture of PROFINET with its comprehensive scope of functions enables innovative, flexible, and cost-saving machine automation: 

  • One cable for everything, for example, integration of special measuring devices
  • Maximum performance and precision
  • Flexible address assignment and modular design
  • Fast commissioning thanks to open access and defined interfaces
  • Integrated safety with important drive safety functions
  • Optimal diagnostics of devices as well as the network
  • Easy energy management through the PROFIenergy profile

Machine Building Animation

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The PI organization also supports machine builders through the following:

  • Global presence for worldwide support
  • Interoperability of devices thanks to certification
  • Large selection of devices as a result of the high level of market penetration

Paper Airplane

These benefits are clearly demonstrated in the Paper Airplane Model.

The machine builder can use PROFINET to create innovative concepts, increase flexibility, reduce time-to-market, and make use of its machines worldwide.

Paper Airplane

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