The first issue of PROFINEWS appeared in September 1994 and was only published quarterly in the early years. During the early 2000’s as popularity in PI’s technologies grew, PROFINEWS expanded into a bimonthly format and two separate editions were published: a European edition and a North American edition. Finally, in the early 2010’s as the technologies grew, publication was again increased, this time to a monthly format and the two editions were once again harmonized into a single issue each month. This is the version we see today – its 200th iteration!
The number of articles, announcements, press releases, and application stories associated with 200 issues would be too many to count. One thing that has remained constant however is the freedom for all who partake in the PI community to utilize PROFINEWS to highlight their case studies, new products, and thought leadership pieces. (Well, that and a little editorial guidance to ensure quality content along the way).
It wouldn’t be fair to mention PROFINEWS figures without also making note of the work done to distribute it in regions around the world. The content we see here gets reproduced by Regional PI Associations (RPAs) to inform their local contacts with relevant news and views. The follow-on effect of this community is incredibly powerful.
But while newsletters are great, what really matters is adoption. Just this week it was announced that in 2020 the total number of PROFIBUS and PROFINET nodes sold surpassed the 100 million mark. Think about that for a second. 100,000,000+ nodes installed over the last 30+ years. It’s a testament to the market that’s been created. And that growth shows no sign of slowing. In fact (since the Great Recession) for 10 years running there has been a net increase in the combined total number of PROFIBUS and PROFINET nodes brought to market annually. In 2011 four PROFIBUS nodes were sold for every single PROFINET node. Fast forward to today and that ratio has flipped: in 2020, four PROFINET nodes were installed for every single PROFIBUS node.
The measure of any organization’s ability to succeed resides in its ability to adapt. That’s why PI has been looking to the horizon for the last several years on ways to leverage the community that has built up around it. It started with IO-Link joining the ranks. Since then, the amount of IO-Link-related content in PROFINEWS has steadily grown. Who knows, maybe IO-Link will get a newsletter all its own some day? As recently as last year, omlox became the latest addition to PI’s technology portfolio. It is the first and only vendor-agnostic real-time locating standard for industry. What other technologies might we see under PI in the future? It is an exciting time indeed.
No matter what technologies we promote, the guiding principle has always been to bring solutions to market that end-users can use now and without delay. It rings as true today as it did in 1994. So, with that, let’s close with a quote from the very first article of the very first edition of PROFINEWS:
PROFIBUS provides a working standard solution now. As always in business, significant opportunities await suppliers who meet user needs first. There is ample evidence that users want the benefits of fieldbus today. PROFIBUS can meet this demand, and only needs your involvement to realise its potential. Need I say more?
– Ed Hoffman, former PNO Chairman