Windows 95 was just released and DVD’s were announced as a new groundbreaking storage media, and the PIC – PROFIBUS Interface Center – was founded in Johnson City, TN. That was 1995. Now, 20 years later, we’re still alive and kicking and busy as always.
Time to look back to what had been accomplished in the past two decades, and to look forward to what may come down the road. When we started, the big goal was to get PROFIBUS in a first automotive production installation – and we did. In the meantime, PROFIBUS and certainly PROFINET are the de-facto standard for the automotive industry, pretty much every car manufacturer is using it. Check. But the success didn’t stop here. PROFI technology can be found from trains to power plants, wind turbines to waste water plants. You name it.
So what’s the PIC contribution? We, as a team of technology experts, spend every minute of our work days to enable PROFI technology here in the US. Some things can’t be counted, like the phone calls, emails and on-site support trips we did to help users and vendors with their PROFIBUS and PROFINET questions on a daily basis.
Others we have statistics for:
- 140 PROFItech Certified Network Engineer Classes were taught with well over 1,000 engineers certified in the US since 1999. That is over 1,000 experts available here in the US. Whether they use, maintain, design and engineer or develop – they build a strong foundation for the success of the technology.
- Almost 400 devices were certified at our test lab from dozens of different vendors. PROFIBUS and PROFINET. Masters and Slaves. Devices and Controllers. Any type of device you can think of. From tiny cameras to huge robots. That makes the technology a safe choice for any project.
During the past ten years, most of our activities shifted towards PROFINET. As of today we certified as many PROFINET devices as PROFIBUS devices. A third of the certified engineers are PROFINET engineers. The PROFINET Specification has reached a mature and rock-solid state with the current version V2.3. There is still work to be done on the standard, but mostly ‘under the hood’ and maintenance – new additions will be on the application side; examples are application profiles and enhancements for Process Automation. This is the PROFINET that paves the road of success for the next decade, at least.
As you can see, a lot had been accomplished by the PI Organization, PI North America, and the PROFI Interface Center, as we call the PIC today. We have many successes to celebrate and managed to go through a major technology innovation successfully. Ironically, Windows 10 was just released (are we going backwards now?), and the DVD is almost dead. But the PROFI technology is here to stay…
Torsten Paulsen is the manager of the PROFI Interface Center and has been involved in PROFIBUS and PROFINET technology since 1998.