The PI North America “year” revolves around our annual General Assembly Meeting (GAM) held every September here in Scottsdale, AZ. This year’s installment marks the 22nd anniversary, since the organization was founded as the PROFIBUS Trade Organization in 1994. With the 2016 GAM now in our rearview mirror, we can reflect on the progress made during the year leading up to, and during the event.
To summarize, the organization remains in a strong position to continue bringing PROFIBUS and PROFINET to the North American market. Membership numbers remain high, and even while still running a small deficit for the year, the financial underpinnings are solid. For PI North America, we have two objectives to complete our mission: Education and Assistance.
- We educate the market on the benefits of the technologies through one-day training classes, webinars, social media and websites.
- We assist device manufacturers in adding PROFIBUS and PROFINET to their devices through certified training classes, developer workshops, and plugfests.
After giving a short recap of the year to date, and the state of the organization, we took a look at the trends affecting industrial automation, and what the strategy is going forward. The PROFINET of Things continues to be the foundation of our message with three main tenets: Data Access, Uptime, and Openness. As IIoT style solutions evolve to meet end-users’ needs, new technologies are emerging to meet future needs. These include Time Sensitive Networking (TSN), the Advanced Physical Layer (APL), and others. All were discussed at the General Assembly Meeting, and how they fit into our ongoing strategy.