PI (PROFIBUS & PROFINET International) is delighted to be able to report increasing use of PROFINET in machine building, where functions for safety, diagnostics, etc., are in great demand.
PROFINET has established itself as the Ethernet communication standard in plant construction on a broad scale. In production automation, in particular, PROFINET has long served not only as the fast backbone of automation. Today, production automation systems are equipped with Ethernet all the way down to the field level. For example, there are currently systems in the automotive industry with up to 15,000 PROFINET nodes.
Machine builders are also facing increasing competition. In a global market in which individualised products are expected, the demand is for innovative and flexible machines. PROFINET can excel here. It is not only the high performance of PROFINET and the accompanying high-precision isochronous communication suitable for motion control tasks that is important here. PROFINET provides an extensive set of functions over the entire life cycle of a machine. For example, commissioning is accelerated by the easy adaptation of IP addresses during device integration in system networks.
Thanks to standardised interfaces, subcomponents can be tested in advance and flexibly integrated into machines later on. During operation, comprehensive diagnostics ensure fast troubleshooting and thus short downtimes. Because PROFINET is integrated seamlessly in existing Ethernet networks, innovative remote maintenance concepts are also optimally supported.
PROFINET at Boeing
Advanced Integration Technology (AIT) is also convinced of the benefits of PROFINET. The company was contracted by Boeing to develop a system for fusing airplane parts of the 787 Dreamliner during final assembly. The task here was to deliver a system that joined together the airplane parts with high precision. For this, AIT used a modular concept consisting of self-contained individual machine parts with Safety PLC, I/O, integrated safety, and HMI that communicate exclusively using PROFINET.
Because the fail-safe and standard control systems run as a coherent unit, costs can be saved during installation and throughout the engineering phase. The diagnostic functions also ensure high availability and short downtimes.