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Case Studies

PROFINET and PROFIBUS PA jointly provide best value in bottling plant control



Bottling plants typically combine process-type applications such as monitoring and control of storage tanks and pipe systems for liquids such as level, flow, pressure, temperature and valves, with motion control applications like bottle filling, capping, and packaging. PROFIBUS technology which, for 25 years, performed very well in doing both tasks with just one plant-wide control system is now integrated with Ethernet-based PROFINET for even better overall performance.
Decades ago, the Food & Beverage industry was one of the first to optimize their production processes with the help of the newly developed fieldbus technology – and PROFIBUS in particular. Today, this industry is again among the first to utilize the value provided by the next level of automation performance with PROFINET, the Ethernet-based communication technology of PROFIBUS & PROFINET International (PI).


The result is a highly valuable control solution (see figure below), where PROFIBUS PA and PROFINET are integrated in one single control system, combining the strengths of a number of PI technologies for best plant processing results and user benefits:

  • PROFIBUS PA for use in hazardous areas, with long cable length and with its two-wire power supply / data communication technology.
  • PA Profile 3.02 for standardized and uniform behaviour of field devices from different manufacturers on the bus,
  • PROFINET which is powerful and future-proof, and also allows the use of standard Ethernet Features
  • PROXY Technology, which enables a smooth, standardized and vendor-neutral integration of PROFIBUS PA segments into PROFINET systems.


Read and see a representative example: A new spirit bottling and packaging plant located in Western Europe employs about 300 process devices for flow, temperature, level and pressure measurements provided by Endress+Hauser. All of them are equipped with the well-proven “PA Device-Profile 3.02” and installed in one of the 20 PROFIBUS PA-segments spread across the entire plant. Distribution boxes, that implement the easy to handle and flexible trunk and spur topology, are used to connect the devices. The majority of the PA segments lead into hazardous areas, Zone 1.


PROFINET (Switched Ethernet technology) is used as plant-wide control protocol, where all bottling, capping and packaging machineries are directly connected. The PROFIBUS PA segments are coupled to PROFINET via segment couplers. They are equipped with the Proxy technology and represent the respective PA-segments with just one gateway for up to four segments each in the PROFINET system as “PROFINET Devices”.
Some of the process devices, such as high-tech flow meters, are connected directly to PROFINET e.g. with the features of direct web server access, easy identification, high bandwidth, or direct parameterization from the control system, e.g. by using start-up parameters. The PROFINET network is designed as line and star topologies to build an optimal, flexible backbone and is connected to the higher level controller via a managed switch.


The combination of four PI-Technologies in one single control system generates remarkable user benefits: PROFINET enables highly efficient motion control solutions (bottle filling and capping), high bandwidth, flexibility and scalable redundancy structures. PROFIBUS PA segments integrate a great variety of process devices for reliable tank and pipe control.
Easy engineering and system integration as well contributed to the success of this solution: The system integrator, while already very experienced in PROFIBUS PA in hazardous areas, had to integrate the devices directly into PROFINET using the gateway for the very first time; and he was quite impressed how easy and quickly PA-devices – also thanks to the FISCO model and PI PROFINET proxy specification – could be installed in hazardous areas – and integrated into the control system.



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