What is PROFINET?

Compliments of the PTO Association

PROFINET logoPROFINET has been described as the “all-encompassing Industrial Ethernet” since it can be used for virtually any function required in automation: discrete, process, motion, peer-to-peer integration, vertical integration, safety, and more.

Because PROFINET uses standard IEEE 802.3 Ethernet, it inherently works over IEEE 802.11 wireless Ethernet. Wireless is a necessity when untethered devices like AGVs (Automatic Guided Vehicles) must be controlled. Existing installations using wireless in concert with PROFIsafe show the power of the combination of these two technologies.

In motion control applications, PROFINET can control 150 axes of motion in one millisecond with one microsecond of jitter. This is suitable for demanding applications like printing presses where PROFINET is currently installed.

PROFINET is the only Industrial Ethernet whose standard defines communication of Plant Asset Management (PAM) and other information needed by Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES).

PROFINET protects users’ investments in their current plant equipment and networks by seamlessly assimilating existing PROFIBUS installations and installations of other fieldbuses like Modbus and DeviceNet.

While embracing industry standards like Ethernet, TCP/IP, XML, and OPC, PROFINET itself is an open, industrial standard supported by PI (PROFIBUS and PROFINET International). PI was founded as PROFIBUS International, tracing its roots to the beginning of PROFIBUS in 1987. It currently has 1400 members. PI is the oldest and largest fieldbus organization. PI is made up of 25 Regional PI Associations (RPAs) around the world with 32 Competence Centers, and 7 certified test labs In addition to PROFINET, PI supports the largest installed base of fieldbus nodes, PROFIBUS. The RPA for North America is PTO.