SPS IPC Drives 2018 Recap and Outlook

  • Post category:PI NEWS
  • Reading time:3 mins read

SPS fair just closed the doors and the year is coming to an end. It was an exciting year for PROFIBUS & PROFINET International (PI). Lots of progress was made in the working groups and the adoption of our technology. As usual we had our press conference during the fair. And of course, one of the hot topics this year was OPC UA. There is much buzz around the technology these days. We have invested in OPC UA for quite a while now. For example, a couple of years ago, OPC UA was made part of FDI, a shared technology of FieldComm Group and PI for better device integration in the continuous process industries.

In our Industry 4.0 Working Group we picked OPC UA as one of 5 trend technologies we need to work on to make smart manufacturing happen. So, during our press event we announced the progress being made on mapping PROFINET device information to OPC UA information models. Namely, the asset management data (I&M) or diagnostic information. Due to our long-standing cooperation with the OPC Foundation, we could feedback technology enhancements for OPC UA, like our concept of facets. This will allow us in PI to bring our Industrie 4.0 use-cases to life and will help OPC UA to be adopted in even more applications.

Another highlight is our joint effort to bring PROFIsafe to OPC UA, e.g. for failsafe controller-2-controller communication. The project was announced at the last SPS fair, started with a kick-off in February of this year, and has already completed a draft specification. This is a great example of the use-case driven effort we perform in our working groups. Many companies –big and small –work together to achieve a common goal. We expect the specification for this to be finished by April of 2019.

Last but not least, we showcased our TSN demo at the fair. Although this was displayed at Hanover fair already back in April –a functioning PROFINET network based on TSN –we further improved it for this SPS fair. This time we could demonstrate a multi-vendor operation by having Analog Devices, Hilscher and Texas Instruments implementing PROFINET@TSN in their devices. Another example of the community spirit of PI. Together we make things happen!

For me this was a very exiting year, with lots of new technology but also intensive collaboration with many people from all over the world. This is why I love PI and this job. I wish you a merry Christmas and all the best for 2019.