An automation evolution exploration from industry veteran Carl Henning.
I’ve been around PROFIBUS and then PROFINET for a couple decades now and I have to admit that I’m still excited by these technologies. It’s been fun to watch them mature and grow. I’ve been doing automation for decades before that so I’ve seen the long arc of automation’s evolutionary growth. Our evolutionary position is currently the Industrial Internet of Things. And it is an evolution I believe. Automation is arriving where it was going anyway, but now we have a popular name for it – the Industrial Internet of Things (which is a subset of the Internet of Things and Industrie 4.0). With this new-found popularity there are opportunities for us in automation.
When I worked for an OEM way back when, there were projects that I knew really needed done, but management was deaf to the logic. When a new popular initiative was mandated, the needed projects found a justification and got done. I think IIoT is the modern equivalent. Now don’t get me wrong, the projects still need to be justified, but now they can be. If you need some assistance in justifying, see my blog post PROFINET – Show Me the Money.
There are already projects that follow the IIoT model. I enjoy reading those application stories. We’ve published some in PROFINEWS and we have sections of them at profibus.com and us.profinet.com. Sadly, many of the app stories I read online that I know include PROFINET, don’t say “PROFINET.” They don’t say that the machines connect to electricity either – PROFINET is just part of the infrastructure apparently.
Make PROFINET part of your infrastructure!