Profibus and Profinet celebrates 20 years at annual meeting

At its general assembly meeting held on Sep. 23-25, PI North America executive director Michael Bryant addressed members. Today, nearly 50 million Profibus devices and 10 million Profinet devices have been installed.

By Joy Chang and PI North America October 3, 2014

PI North America (formerly Profibus Trade Organization, PTO) revealed the significant growth of Profibus nodes, Profinet nodes, and Profisafe nodes at its 20th anniversary general assembly meeting on September 24, 2014. With the trends of Industry 4.0, Internet of Things, and Industrial Internet, PI executive director Michael Bryant discussed how Profinet will keep up with the challenges and developments in the future.
PI currently has 152 members from the Americas and 1,400 members worldwide that include vendors of hardware, software and systems, end users and operators, scientific institutes, universities, distributors, and system integrators. Across the world, PI now has 27 regional associations, 52 competency centers, 28 training centers, and 10 test laboratories.

Significant Profibus growth
PI network has experienced exceptional growth within the automation market. In 2008, 25 million Profibus nodes were installed worldwide, the number has almost doubled within five years and has reached 50 million in 2014. Started in 2003, the use of Profinet nodes also has a dramatic growth, reaching 10 million in 2014. The latest product, Profisafe has also seen exceptional growth to over 3 million nodes.

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)
PI Executive Director Michael Bryant discussed how Profinet is compatible with Industry 4.0 Internet of Things, and Industrial Internet. According to Bryant, the communication flow for IoT will start with sensors, to Profinet data, controller, OPC-UA information, to analytics. IoT is growing strongly in the industry, according to Gartner, its base will grow to 26 billion units by 2020. IoT will influence all things on factory floors. 
Aussie Schnore of GE Research and Development gave a presentation on how his company utilizes Profinet in Industrial Internet. They use the real-time and comprehensive-diagnostics components of Profinet at the sensor level then leverage OPC-UA at the controller level and above (such as into the cloud). This is being used on turbines, wind farms, oil rigs, and other mission-critical applications. 
Prof. Frithjof Klasen of the Institute for Automation & Industrial IT shared his experience with Profinet usage in the automotive industry. Looking back to 2008, where a Volkswagen body shop might have 620 Profinet devices installed, seems distant compared to the 10,000 Profinet devices a similar line would have today. These lines run Profinet 90% over fiber-optics (especially on a welding line) and are 100% Profisafe. 

– Joy Chang, digital project manager, CFE Media, jchang(at)

– See the original press release on the PI North American general assembly.