Report from the General Assembly Meeting

Michael Bryant introduced this issue of PROFINEWS with a hint about PI North America’s recent General Assembly Meeting (GAM). Michael Bowne in the article immediately above took the introduction to the PROFINET of Things at the GAM and distilled them into a webcast. Carl Henning in the PROFIblog is portioning out an informal reporting of the event.

Here are the highlights from the meeting.

The meeting started with a time of formal introductions, including new Board of Directors member Barry Lynch. He was elected to the Board on Tuesday at the Board of Directors meeting.  Local and international staff were introduced as were members of related organizations – PI Competence Centers, PI Training Centers, and PI Test Labs.  All attendees got to introduce themselves as well.

Michael Bryant provided a state of the organization session: highest number of members ever and financial stability were highlighted.  PI North America’s mission is to promote the PROFINET and PROFIBUS technologies.

Michel Bowne presented the PROFINET of Things strategy as included in the webcast.  As you can see from the webcast PROFINET collects the data; OPC UA takes it from the controller up and directly from some complex devices.  Because PROFINET uses standard unmodified Ethernet, PROFINET and OPC (and other protocols) can coexist on the same infrastructure (cable and switches).

This architecture is already being used as this example (one of several) from Barry Lynch’s Brilliant Machines presentation showed:

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Raj Batra also had several examples in his session. This one shows PROFINET being used to make PROFINET devices:

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Examples like these show that the PROFINET of Things is a real thing – being used now.

Other sessions included:

PI Report. Karsten Schneider, PI Chairman, updated international standardizations, PROFINET’s role in Industrie 4.0, and provided a great application story on utility savings from an auto manufacturer using PROFIenergy.

PROFI Interface Center (PIC) Report.  Torsten Paulsen, PIC manager, provided some important numbers from the PIC: 20 years of service, over 1000 engineers trained, over 400 product certified, and countless one-day training classes.  His staff returned on Thursday to provide additional details of Certified Network Engineer training updates and test lab requirements.

PROFINET and IIoT at Riceland Foods.  Adrian Merrill of TempuTech provided additional details about their application that was featured as the cover story in the May issue of Automation World.

There were two excellent security presentations, tips and techniques for planning a large scale PROFINET installation, and PROFINET in Microgrid Experiments at Penn State.  More details on these presentations are in the PROFIblog.

Members and users with great PROFINET and PROFIBUS stories to tell should note the time for next year’s General Assembly Meeting: September 20-23.