Because of 2020: Hybrid PROFINET Workshops

  • Post category:TRAINING / EVENTS
  • Reading time:4 mins read

Submitted by the PROFI Interface Center, a PI accredited Training Center, Competence Center, and Test Lab

Most people agree that 2020 was not the best year on the books… However, not everything was just bad. The pandemic forced us to rethink and do things differently – and adopt to the new ‘normal’ – whether it’s working from home or not traveling as we previously did.

That was also the reality we faced for one aspect of our business: Training.

Our most successful classes include lots of hands-on, practical exercises and labs, because they are a great way to learn the technology. One very successful training we offered for several years now is the PROFINET Developer Workshop for companies looking to add PROFINET to their devices. It is a customized training, tailored to the customer needs to meet their individual training goals:

  • Provide background and knowledge to design and test a PROFINET product efficiently
  • Tailored to customer’s goals, level of experience, and phase in development cycle

The training is customized and can cover topics like:

  • Defining the scope of a PROFINET project (conformance classes, supported features, profiles, etc.)
  • How PROFINET state machines work and common software and hardware stack features
  • Configuring vendor and device variables for PROFINET
  • Building and validating a GSDML file
  • Implement basic I/O with both physical and virtual modules
  • Coverage of the PROFINET certification test suite

The workshop is confidential and always exclusive for one customer. We have taught individuals, small and large groups, both in our office or at a customer’s site. However – either location (ours or theirs) – always requires someone to travel, which was not safely possible for most of 2020. Despite we can’t simply get on an airplane as we’re accustomed to, the training demand still exists. We had a customer ready to go right when the pandemic hit. We moved the workshop several times as the pandemic developed, and restrictions constantly changed. By August 2020, it was clear that this workshop is not possible in-person. To still meet the customer needs, we tried something different.

We developed a hybrid format of the workshop: We ship the hardware equipment to the customer for the full hands-on experience but teach the training remotely – no travel required!

The “hybrid” PROFINET Developer Workshop involves:

Customer Setup and Logistics

  • Shipping of training equipment (racks, laptops, USB cameras) to the customer site in advance
  • Customer sets up and gets familiar with the equipment
  • The laptops are pre-configured with the live meeting link

Instructor Setup and Training

  • Instructor setup in our office with matching equipment, live camera, etc.
  • Each student’s station is a meeting participant for individual help and screen sharing

We learned a few lessons, but overall: “The remote training has worked.” These are the words from the customer…

Bottom line: We still like to deliver training in-person whenever we can, but the important point is: We were able to meet the customer’s needs during a pandemic by adjusting to the situation.

Although 2021 is now here, and travel restrictions may or may not disappear soon, the hybrid PROFINET Developer Workshop is here to stay.

PROFI Interface Center
Johnson City, TN, USA
Learn More: