The cable car from the valley floor in Wallis to Bettmeralp at 1933 meters above sea level is the “umbilical cord” for this popular vacation destination: Skiers, hikers, and locals use it for transportation since Bettmeralp is car-free. Groceries, building materials, and heating oil are brought up from the valley and trash is brought down. Just imagine what might happen if the cable car failed. PROFIsafe ensures safe operation.
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Sometimes time goes very fast; a year ago PI published my welcome article on PROFIsafe in PROFINEWS. As everyone expected the number of PROFIsafe nodes installed has reached 5.4 million in year 2015. There is no doubt that this trend will continue for the coming years because of the transition of fieldbus technology from PROFIBUS to PROFINET and market acceptance of safe PLCs for functional safety of the machine.
To produce 900,000 tons of cement annually, the Holcim cement plant in the Eclépens municipality (canton of Vaud, Switzerland) operates 24 hours a day and over 300 days a year as a very much function-oriented plant. At the heart of the plant, a traveling crane plays a key role in the production process.
Functional safety allows safety functions to be defined that can actively react to a ‘security’ attack. New standards are being drafted that cross the divide between safety and security.
Of particular interest to manufacturers of PROFIsafe controllers is the new F-Host test tool for PROFIsafe V2.61. The F-Host test tool will be used by PI test labs for official certification tests and by vendors of F-Host controllers for in-house tests.
Two new videos help the understanding of PROFINET and PROFIsafe. From Indu-Sol comes a video that shows how PROFINET works by using a street traffic analogy. From PI we have a live demo of PROFIsafe working. PI maintains three YouTube channels to which viewers can subscribe.
The topic of Industrie 4.0 can be examined from many aspects that differ, above all, in their degree of complexity. At the core, however, it boils down to a simple formula: Data plus connectivity lead to increased productivity.
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.