During the last few years, industrial communication systems based on Ethernet (PROFINET mainly) have spread immensely. Transitions toward innovative technologies require huge investments: purchase of new field devices, new cabling and higher-performance processors. For many companies, the investment in new protocols is not a real necessity and can be postponed by investing in the existing plant. Here are four tips to extend the life of an existing PROFIBUS network.
Did you know that IO-Link is superseding the nameplate? Every IO-Link device contains all of the relevant details about the device. Not only are the item number, date of manufacture, and firmware or hardware edition stored but it is also possible with device profiles to distinguish the equipment type, e.g. whether it is a pressure switch or a proximity switch. Even the layout of the process data or the structure and thresholds of the IO-Link device-specific parameters are accurately described by the IODD (IO Device Description) file. In addition, machine or plant-specific information can be stored in the device by the user.
Did you know that IO-Link is regarded as a facilitator for the diagnostic concepts of Industrie 4.0? Industrie 4.0 is loaded with high expectations. If it is to become a reality, data and information from the sensor/actuator level must be made accessible. IO-Link makes an important and essential contribution toward reaching this valuable data by providing communication capability to the last meter to the field device.
This is the second in our series on network management with PROFINET. It covers PROFINET device naming, PROFINET Discovery and Configuration Protocol (DCP), and Link Layer Discovery Protocol (LLDP).
There are so many choices of ways to add PROFINET to an automation device that it is difficult to know where to start. Where to start depends on the type of product, its existing design, quantity expected, and time to market needed. This article provides an overview of starting points plus a list of resources to help device makers through the process.
The new guideline, "Recommendation for Design and Implementation of PROFINET Devices," addresses technological aspects as well as organizational issues such as certification and marketing when developing a PROFINET device. It guides vendors through this process from initial questions to market launch of a product.
To assist manufacturers of automation devices in adding PROFINET to their products, many tools are now available. One is a PROFINET driver for controllers, and a second is a chip for devices. Both are from Siemens. A third, from Hilscher, also includes PROFIdrive controller functionality.
Did you know that IO-Link enables devices that were previously inconceivable? IO-Link sets new standards for the design of input/output modules. Whether integrated in the control rack or as a fieldbus module, one and the same module can process a wide range of signals. IO-Link masters can replace both binary and analog inputs and outputs. This facilitates spare parts management and enables flexible machine design. There is no longer a need for so many different types of modules.