Where does the Industrial Internet of Things and PROFINET fit in a control engineer’s world?
At the level of the control network, IIoT is a new name for where automation was headed anyway. What is new is the use of the data produced by the control system to improve the overall process. Introduced are storage and analysis capabilities that provide a real ROI for the investments made in the control system and the analytics. The ROI is achieved by providing a better understanding of the process using current and after-the-fact data analysis. Data is fed back to the process contemporaneously or improvements are made through modifications of the machines and the procedures. PROFINET provides the data; the analytics provide the process improvement.
Here are the basics – definitions of Industrial Internet of Things, Internet of Things, Industrie 4.0, and PROFINET of Things in a 47-second video:
Not just any Industrial Ethernet can claim to be foundational to IIoT; here are three benefits of PROFINET that differentiate it from the others.
Data Access. Getting the data is not very exciting. But without the data none of the rest of IIoT is possible. PROFINET provides the data at whatever speed the application needs it – from microseconds to multiple seconds. PROFINET arranges the data into objects (PROFINET calls them “Application Profiles)” to simplify multi-vendor access with little effort. PROFINET integrates legacy buses to preserve existing infrastructure and bring its data to IIoT.
Uptime. PROFINET helps support uptime and prevent downtime with fault tolerant devices and architectures and comprehensive diagnostics.
Openness. IIoT depends on open standards. PROFINET’s openness goes beyond published international standards to implementation without contracts or license fees.
For more details on PROFINET’s data access, uptime, and openness, read the white paper “PROFINET of Things.”
Here are additional resources covering these topics: