Shaping today the production of tomorrow
As the popular saying goes, paths are made by being walked. In this sense, PROFINET has clearly shown that a technology can outgrow its expectations and blaze new trails as a pioneer. When an Ethernet-based communication system was first being considered 16 years ago, no-one had any idea that this technology would be a “door opener” to totally new areas of use, in this case, Industrie 4.0 and Industrial Internet of Things applications.
Industrie 4.0 is currently a hot topic for discussion, and it’s being taken for granted that all the requirements and requests will be easy to implement. This includes ever-increasing networking of machines and systems, data transfer to the cloud, high real-time requirements for I/O data and new diagnostic demands, service and maintenance, to name a few. Only in very few discussions (outside automation) is it explicitly being said that the bandwidth demand for Ethernet-based data exchange is increasing and the requirements on industrial networks are growing as a result. This is to say nothing of the complexity of the task, e.g. how it will manifest in terms of asset management. Thus the question of how to handle the data of subsystems without a PROFINET interface has long gone unanswered. Not only has PI given this thought, it has already developed concrete solutions.
Potential future trails blazed by PI technologies will be presented at the next PI conference, which will be held on March 22 & 23, 2017 at the Commerzbank-Arena in Frankfurt, Germany. The guiding theme of the conference will be: “Network of the future – Shaping today the production of tomorrow.” Technologies, requirements, and solutions for the planning, development, and operation of networked production systems will be the primary focuses there.