This month's issue comes full of international news: Italy concludes a successful workshop; PI Southern Africa is set to exhibit at Electra Mining Africa 2020; PITC UK says goodbye to one of their founding members who is heading for retirement; and the IO-Link China Community is officially established.
The variety of domestic Chinese automation vendors supplying devices with a PROFINET interface has exploded. This was recently exhibited by PI-China at the China International Industry Fair (CIIF) in Shanghai in September.
The "PROFINET Angel Fund" project is aimed at spurring development of automation products based on PROFINET technology. More than two dozen manufacturers were selected; so far, 18 are in the R&D and testing phase, while 9 have completed certification.
Accredited PI (PROFIBUS & PROFINET International) Competence Centers (PICCs) provide high-quality support for PROFIBUS and PROFINET technologies worldwide. PI is very pleased with the continued strong interest on all the continents in adding to the list of accredited PICCs. In the past three months, three PICCs were established in South America, one in Turkey, one in Canada as well as yet another in Germany. And now in China.
Regional PI Associations in Australia, China, Middle East, and the UK have news in this issue. PI Australia looks back at 2016 and ahead to 2017. PI China appeared in the exhibition of the 2016 China International Industry Fair in Shanghai. PI Middle East hosted a PROFIday and conducted a PROFIBUS class in Dubai; they are planning a design course. PI UK is supporting (and offering discounts) to Industry 4.0 Summit & Factory of the Future Expo in 2017.
Unlike many other organizations in industrial automation, PI is large enough that it can support a decentralized structure (as opposed to a centralized one). This means each Regional PI Association can deliver support and events that are suited to their local market. More importantly, it means there's a lot happening around the globe, all the time. Newsworthy topics highlighted in this article are from: China, India, Italy, Korea, and Norway.
Following successful standardization of PROFIBUS and PROFINET in China, PROFIsafe – the first and only communication-based safety standard in China – has now been elevated to the status of a Chinese national standard. This is further evidence that the world leading PI technologies are highly regarded in China – not just because of their high quality but also based on their large installed base and reliable organization.
Why have an entire section of PROFINEWS dedicated to Regional News? It matters for three reasons. First, it shows the strength of the PI organization on a global scale. Second, if you are a device vendor, it encourages you to explore other such markets with the expectation of local support. And finally, if you are an end-user, it assures that if you start operations in another country there are already experts in place.