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SPS 2019 Wrap-Up and a Look to 2020

Under the new name ‘Smart Production Solutions’, SPS Fair 2019 was again a big success. The name change reflects the ongoing digital transformation and therefore the convergence of IT and OT. Many IT companies appeared at the fair to showcase their IoT solutions. It was a perfect setup for PI and our booth. And it reflects our two main focus areas of work:

  1. Providing a state of the art communication technology for the shop floor
  2. Providing information to IT systems (top floor)

Shop Floor Connectivity

During our press conference at the fair we demonstrated great success in both areas. When it comes to connectivity, PI has always been at the forefront. This year we could educate the market about our work on TSN and Ethernet APL (Advanced Physical Layer). TSN (Time Sensitive Networking) will provide the users the next level of deterministic Ethernet communication in factories and plants. Using this IT technology will make PROFINET even more future-proof. Supporting higher bandwidths is just one of its many benefits. The standardization work is ongoing, although there is still lots to do. While IEEE 802.1 standards are finished for what we need, the Industry profile in IEC/IEEE 60802 is still a work in progress. This work is crucial for the success of TSN, since TSN only provides the advantages if all in industrial automation agree on the same profile. In the meantime, we work hard on our TSN test system. A first release is planned for Hanover Fair 2020.

Top Floor Information

The second big task is to create information models to support new IIoT business cases. Standardized information models will allow for an easy access to data on the shop floor. In our working groups we created first models for asset management and PROFINET diagnostics as an OPC UA companion specification. Working our way from real world use-cases to the final technical standard is our process in PI. This is done in close cooperation with customers from both the process industry and factory automation. This way we make sure to provide value to our members.

2019 comes to an end, and for PI, it was very successful to say the least. Hundreds of engineers worked in many working groups on marketing, technology, certification, and many more topics. I want to thank everybody in this great PI community and look forward to continue in 2020. It is an exiting time for industrial automation and many challenges are waiting for engineers to solve them. PI will do its share in this and will stay the leading industrial automation community in the world.

I wish you and your family restful holidays and all the best for 2020!

Karsten Schneider
PI Chairman

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