The classic communication landscape consists of cyclic data exchange between controllers and field devices, as well as data exchange for parameter setting, monitoring and diagnostics of field devices. This landscape is evolving to include new vertical information channels with a large amount of data. Standardized, open information models help to structure large data volumes and add additional descriptions to variables. For information modeling, PI (PROFIBUS & PROFINET International) is committed to using OPC UA technology, which is widespread today. A new white paper entitled “Information models” describes their role within PI technologies and points out the path to implementation of Industry 4.0 applications.
Machine-interpretable semantic descriptions can be generated for all data provided by devices and components using PI technologies. With nearly 50 million devices with a PROFINET interface in use in the field today, these descriptions open up access to this data. Such information models give us very easy access to information from devices, machines, and systems while saving lots of time integrating new components. They also considerably simplify coupling of IT applications to systems.
Industrial communication, especially PROFINET and IO-Link, meets all the requirements for vertical communication. Therefore, it makes sense to integrate these information models into PI technologies in such a way that provides seamless enhancement of the device technology. This has to happen in such a way that vertical communication doesn’t affect control tasks and that it’s equipped with the necessary IT security measures.
The first standardized, open information models for PROFINET and IO-Link are already available. A successful example of this is PROFIenergy. This profile provides the means to collect energy measurement values in the systems of different manufacturers and make them available to other applications, such as an energy management app, without much effort.
A newly released white paper describes how implementation of information models works in practice, the role played by PI technology, and future areas of focus.
The white paper is available for download for free in both German and English here: https://www.profibus.com/download/information-models
Also watch this informative video on structured information models: