Placing the Focus on Process Automation

  • Post category:PI NEWS
  • Reading time:2 mins read

For decades, the chemical industry has been making great efforts to guarantee safety for people and the environment. The infrastructures for process and operations management and safety applications are strictly separated. These two worlds differed technologically as well, as only 4-20 mA was available for safety applications. With the combination of Ethernet-APL, PROFINET, and PROFIsafe, PI meets the challenge of providing both safety and non-safety applications through a unified PROFINET infrastructure.

The flexible Ethernet-APL technology is the uniform technological basis for safety and non-safety systems. PROFIsafe, on the other hand, is a TÜV-certified SIL3 safety protocol that has proven itself in factory automation for many years. It is based on the black channel principle and ensures maximum system availability. The PROFIsafe protocol has no effect on the standard bus protocols and is independent of the respective transmission channel. With the combination of the two technologies, safety applications can thus also be implemented beyond 4-20 mA. Initial practical experience with PROFIsafe has already been gained in the same BASF test facility where Ethernet-APL based on PROFINET was already tested.

The maturity of the technology is demonstrated not only by the growing number of PROFIsafe devices installed each year, especially in factory automation, but also at ACHEMA, the leading international trade fair for the process industry, which was just held in Germany at the end of August 2022. There, the first manufacturers already demonstrated how the fully functional solution with PROFIsafe also works for process automation. For manufacturers who want to integrate PROFIsafe into their devices, development kits are available from technology providers. PI regularly offers seminars and training courses to get deeper into the technology.

Other important technologies highlighted at ACHEMA include MTP, omlox, and the PA Profile for PROFINET devices. All in all, it was a successful trade-fair, the highlights of which appear in this month’s PROFINEWS. Please enjoy and thank you for reading.

Karsten Schneider
Chairman, PI