Sailing Through an Installation – Thanks to Guidelines

  • Post category:TECH TIPS
  • Reading time:3 mins read

Admittedly, the creation of installation guidelines seems tedious and dry at first glance, but it’s rewarded in day-to-day practice. Users benefit from clear specifications on the installation of PI technologies.

How do cables have to be installed? What has to be kept in mind when installing plug connectors? What about shielding?

Since the first installation guideline for PROFIBUS was created 18 years ago, it’s served as a valuable aid in countless PROFIBUS installations. Based on its success, it was followed by a guideline for planning and then a guideline for commissioning PROFIBUS. When PROFINET came along, similar guidelines for PROFINET technology were implemented. Regardless of the technology concerned, the “Installation Guidelines” Working Group always focuses on the user, who have to be able to plan a specific technology and use it in practice. Example systems are used to illustrate certain concepts, step by step.

Since its formation, the working group has produced eight guidelines and three web-based training courses. The APL Engineering Guideline was completed just recently. APL is two-wire Ethernet designed for the connection of sensors and actuators in the process industry. Despite a tight schedule, all the important aspects of Ethernet APL were covered in 115 pages. The “Functional Equipotential Bonding and Shielding” guideline was also expanded with a chapter on shield currents and shield current measurements. This primarily concerns the electromagnetic compatibility of production plants. With this guideline, we want to provide planners with guidance on how to establish an interference-free and robust PROFIBUS and PROFINET installation. Currently, our Working Group is engaged with PROFINET redundancy and “PROFINET over TSN.”

We’re supported in our work in crafting guidelines by students at Hanover University of Applied Sciences and Arts, who devise technical pre-examinations, conduct research and create design concepts as part of their bachelor or master thesis. Other members of the Working Group support this work with their expertise and comment on & correct the design concepts. The crafting of guidelines is a collaborative effort by many people and will continue to be important in the future – guideline creation isn’t finished by a long shot!


Prof. Dr.-Ing. Karl-Heinz Niemann
Professor of process informatics and automation technology
Hanover University of Applied Sciences and Arts
Head of the PI “Installation Guidelines” Working Group