We still get questions on the difference between PROFIBUS and PROFINET.
In short: PROFIBUS is a classic serial Fieldbus, and PROFINET is an industrial Ethernet protocol.
PROFIBUS and PROFINET are both IEC standards created by the same organization: PROFIBUS and PROFINET International. Everything started with PROFIBUS, introduced in 1989, and grew rapidly in the 90s. Then, as the industry shifted from fieldbuses to Industrial Ethernet, PI developed PROFINET, which became available in the early 2000s, and has grown rapidly ever since. Because of their common source, PROFIBUS and PROFINET do share some similarities. But generally, they are very different.
Fundamental Differences Between PROFIBUS and PROFINET
PROFIBUS networks are generally characterized by purple single-pair RS-485 cabling. And those cables use the standard DB9 or M12 connectors. PROFINET networks, on the other hand, typically use green industrially graded Ethernet cables. For PROFINET networks, the most common connector type is RJ45, but M12 connectors are also used in high exposure environments and BFOCs for fiber optic applications.
PROFIBUS is based on RS-485, which is a common serial communication method. In a PROFIBUS network, you have PROFIBUS masters and PROFIBUS slaves. The master can be, for example, a PLC, PAC, or DCS. And the slaves can be a wide array of devices: drives, motors, IOs, sensors, field devices, robots, actuators, and more.
An In-depth Video Explanation
Which one should you implement?
When should you use one versus the other? Brownfield – use PROFIBUS. Greenfield – use PROFINET. A brownfield location that already has PROFIBUS can continue to add PROFIBUS nodes. Although if you need to add Ethernet functionality, it may pay to add a small projects-worth of PROFINET. For a greenfield opportunity, start with PROFINET – it’s the future!