PROFIBUS & PROFINET news from around the world

PI Update: New Board Member, PI Meeting Report, Still Free eBook, Audi Video

It has been a busy month for PI.  Phil Marshall of Hilscher has joined the PI North America Board of Directors.  There was the annual international PI meeting in Ireland.  Catching the Process Fieldbus free eBook has been downloaded over 500 times since it was announced in last month’s PROFINEWS.  There is a new video with PROFINET user Audi complimenting PI.  And social media rolls on.

Phil Marshall of Hilscher Joins PI North America Board

The PI North America Board of Directors voted unanimously to approve Mr. Marshall’s nomination and he plans to attend his first Board meeting later this year.

Phil Marshall

Phil Marshall

As CEO of its North American operations, Mr. Marshall is responsible for overseeing all development, marketing, and sales activities at Hilscher for the USA and Canada. Prior to joining Hilscher in 2002, he also held management positions with Siemens, SST, and Nematron.

Mr. Marshall comments, “Hilscher has been involved with PROFIBUS from the very beginning with our embedded solutions for the technology. Now with the growing adoption of PROFINET, we want to be an integral part of its success in North America.” Hilscher’s product portfolio also includes interface cards, gateways, and data visualization solutions.

“Hilscher brings a unique perspective to the Board, one that we look forward to incorporating into our existing plans,” says Michael Bryant, Executive Director of PI North America. “By joining the Board, the company can now play a pivotal role in determining the strategic direction of PROFIBUS and PROFINET in North America. Phil’s leadership will help us expand the efforts of our Board to bring the technologies to an even wider market.” Mr. Marshall will join fellow Board members Bernie Anger of GE Intelligent Platforms, Raj Batra of Siemens Industry, Mike Rothwell of Phoenix Contact, and Mr. Bryant.

PI Meeting News and Statistics

The annual international PI meeting was recently held in Ireland. It was five solid days (and nights) of PROFINET and PROFIBUS. Here are a few observations that are of general interest.

Michael Bowne

Michael Bowne

Mike Bryant, Executive Director of PI North America, has been Deputy Chairman of PI (international) since PI was formed by the Regional PI Associations 20 years ago. Having decided that it was time for younger representation, Mike resigned and our own Michael Bowne was elected the new Deputy Chairman.  Mike remains Executive Director of PI North America.

A report from the PI Support Center showed the increasing number of PROFINET product certificates awarded. Last year there were 330 and this year there will be even more.

More numbers: Regional PI Associations (RPAs) represented included Australia, Belgium, Brazil, China, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Middle East, Netherlands, North America, Norway, Poland, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK. Some of these represent multiple countries; for example, the Australian RPA also includes New Zealand, the Middle East includes eight countries, and PI North America includes the US, Canada, and all of Latin America except Brazil. That’s 28 countries not including Latin America. (PI North America fostered the new RPA in Chile and supports the new PI Competence Centers in Bolivia and Peru.)

PI Ireland did a superb job of having everything planned very well, especially since they were originally expecting about 65 total attendees and had over 90.

The most interesting statistic: 9 km versus 27 km. One of the PICCs presented their approach to checking a mixed network at a medium sized process plant. The plant had a PROFINET backbone with some PROFIBUS devices integrated via proxy. There were 230 PROFINET devices and 71 PROFIBUS devices. They used 9 km of cable versus the 27 km of cable if it had been an all-PROFIBUS network. Imagine what the km of cable would be for a hard-wired, point-to-point approach!

Catching the Process Fieldbus

Catching the Process Fieldbus: An Introduction to Profibus for Process Automation is a great starting point for learning about PROFIBUS for process.  It’s still free and available in multiple formats here.

Audi Video

Social Media

Recent blog posts have included

  • Why Use a Fieldbus?
  • 5 Questions about PI North America Answered
  • PROFINET Student Tips

Plus a less-formal, first-person account of the PI Meeting.  Stop by the blog every Tuesday for an update or subscribe using RSS.

Watch all the MinutePROFINET videos in sequence using this playlist:

Follow on Twitter for twice-a-weekday updates (and the occasional weekend off-topic tweet): @AllThingsPROFI.

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