The PROFINET developer community’s well-established Plugfest is the ideal opportunity to test new developments in a simple way while sharing first-hand experiences with others in the community.
This year’s plugfest took place on June 5th-6th at the SEW-EURODRIVE’s DriveAcademy in Bruchsal, a site where PROFINET training events are also held. Small testing stations were set up for the various subject areas, alongside the construction of a huge network, allowing for the realistic testing of interesting configurations including many different manufacturers.
Cross-vendor testing at a plugfest has become an established part of the development process for new features – besides the basic steps of drafting the specifications and obtaining the necessary certification. Specialists representing controller/device and tool manufacturers come together to test their own developments against each other in a collegial atmosphere and to provide helpful input first-hand. In Bruchsal, the combination of long-established developers and newcomers led to interesting conversations resulting in the further refinement of PROFINET technology.
The focus areas of this year’s Plugfest included redundancy features such as MRP, S2, and DR, which are not only necessary in the field of process automation but are becoming increasingly essential for factory automation. However, the event also continued to highlight developments in the areas of diagnostics, asset management, PROFIsafe and, of course, drive integration.
The comprehensive specification of data and performance forms the basis for the specific mapping of higher-level layers, such as those currently defined in PROFINET-OPC UA mapping. Accordingly, the continuous development of PROFINET is setting up the focal areas for future Plugfests: OPC UA mapping and TSN integration in PROFINET.