The question of how Ethernet should be handled in potentially explosive atmospheres has been keeping users in the process industry busy for many years. Now, after successful testing of APL technology by BASF, we are closer to a solution.
How can data from the field be introduced into an IT system, and how can information which benefits the user be gained from it? Teamwork between PI and the OPC Foundation is illustrating our response to the sensible interaction between different technologies.
In an ordinary year, PI would already – and once again – have presented its progress on Industry 4.0 work at the Hanover Fair – but this is no ordinary year...
Functional safety is not only in the interest of the affected persons, but it also makes sense from a business point of view. When the risk of accidents is correctly accounted for, systems equipped with modern safety technology have a much lower total cost of ownership than unprotected ones.
Once proven, many of the mechanisms employed by PROFINET IRT for 15+ years, are now being standardized by the IEEE e.g. in TSN. In hindsight, we are seeing just how truly 'ahead of its time' PROFINET technology is/was.
When the Industry 4.0 Project was started at PI with lots of dedicated companies, its many different dimensions quickly became clear. Due to the sheer size of this spectrum, we also have to work closely together with other organizations. We all agreed that action was called for, not a “wait and see” attitude!
It doesn't matter if OPC UA, MQTT, OPC Companion Specifications or NOA shaped PA-DIM data models come around the corner; they all only make sense when there is digital data coming from field devices, sensors, signals, converters, proxies etc. And what are they all connected to? A PROFINET network.
“PROFINET in Practice – Installation, Maintenance, Design and Systems Engineering” by Dr. Xiu Ji, updated in November 2019. This book is based on the success of the series, PROFIBUS in Practice, answering the need for guidelines and instruction on engineering best practices.