PROFINET devices and controllers successfully put through their paces
PI North America in cooperation with the PROFI Interface Center created the first North American PROFINET plugfest, hosted by Phoenix Contact in Ann Arbor, MI on August 3-4. Thirty-five engineers from thirteen companies brought six controllers and thirty I/O devices to the plugfest. Participating companies included Balluff, Cisco, Hilscher, Innovasic, Molex, Mynah, Phoenix Contact, ProSoft, Siemens, Teledyne DALSA, TR Electronic, Turck, Yaskawa, and Lapp USA.
All PROFINET products must be certified in accredited test labs, but the plugfest provided the opportunity to evaluate those products in a very large network. Some of the products were nearing completion, so the plugfest provided a chance to evaluate them before formal testing. Testing was carried out in small groups around individual controllers with the devices circulating among the various controllers prior to creating one large network.
Tom Weingartner of Innovasic, Inc. has attended a number of plugfests in Europe and had this to say about the North America version: “Plugfests are a great way to find out how your products perform with lots of other controllers and devices. We appreciate the opportunity to continuously improve our products and participate in such a well-attended event here in the US – as always we learned a lot.”
The I/O devices were many and varied, including VFDs and servo drives. Edward Tom of Yaskawa America, Inc. noted that the event was “A great place for so many different device manufacturers to come together with one goal in mind – interoperability. It’s not often you can talk to a counterpart of a different company and collaborate to figure things out.”
The success of the event led the attendees to request another one. A PROFINET Plugfest will be scheduled for 2017.
Early coverage was posted in the PROFIblog on August 9 as PROFINET Plugfest Report.