On Nodes, Numbers, and Industry 4.0

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

The just released node counts for our technologies again show the power of PROFINET, PROFIBUS, and IO-Link. They are developing very well, and as recent market studies have indicated, stronger than competing technologies. And this, after 30 years of PROFIBUS & PROFINET International! This is the ultimate proof that we made the right decisions in the past.

Even PROFIBUS, a very mature technology, still managed to report an impressive number of 1.9 million new nodes, now adding up to 62 million nodes installed worldwide. Over 13 million of those are being incorporated into process-engineering plants.

In the case of both PROFINET and IO-Link, PI’s Working Group experts have not only continued to develop the communication aspects of the technology but also provided crucial additional support to make them suitable for use in Industry 4.0-compliant production. One example of this is the two companion specifications, in which OPC UA-compatible information models for PROFINET and IO-Link are described. It is an area of importance for our future activities. We are able to manage the complexity of industrial automation with cyclic data exchange through PROFINET whilst simultaneously enabling new business models in plants and machines by providing easy to implement vertical communication using OPC UA. Expect to see more of this in the coming months and years.

IO-Link saw its largest annual increase (40%) in 2019, achieving the same growth rate as the year before. This shows that IO-Link is establishing itself in the market for the long term. The total number of installed IO-Link devices is now more than 16 million.

Of course, these are all 2019 figures, and no one can tell how COVID will influence this year’s numbers. Nevertheless, PI’s Working Groups are functioning well in these times, and we continue to develop exciting new additions to our technologies to keep them always ahead of the industry’s needs. Furthermore, we are investigating more online training for our members, users, and prospects to broaden the scope of our education efforts. For our first Industry 4.0 webinar, we had to close registration due to the incredible popularity of the seminar. We are scheduling more of them to accommodate the need. It is a clear indication of the high interest in our technologies and our vision for the future. We are soon to roll out these webinars globally to support all of our international members and customers as well. Stay tuned for updates.

For now, please stay healthy and safe.

Karsten Schneider
Chairman, PI