PTO holds a virtual general assembly meeting

Organization reports that industrial Ethernet and fieldbus adoption continues upward climb despite recession. Growth in larger automation markets may have already turned the corner.
By Peter Welander August 7, 2009

Condensing what is normally a two-day meeting into 45 minutes, Michael Bryant, executive director of the Profibus Trade Organization (PTO) , addressed the membership via a Webinar on Aug. 6. In an accommodation to travel restrictions placed on many PTO members, Bryant and the group chose to have a virtual general assembly meeting rather than the usual gathering in Scottsdale, AZ.

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Michael Bryant, PTO executive director

While the organization has lost a few members, Bryant made the point that PTO is financially sound and adoption of Profibus and Profinet continues it’s upward climb. The latest counts (end of 2008) of installed nodes for Profibus reached 28.3 million and Profinet crossed 1.6 million. Bryant cites this figure as justification for Profinet to claim the title of leading industrial Ethernet protocol.

PTO has kept up a heavy industrial network training schedule , and there has been little fall off in the attendance figures in spite of the recession. The group continues its schedule of seminars around the country, offering eight each for Profinet and Profibus during 2009. The group reckons that it has completed advanced training for 620 engineers in its various programs.

When asked to gaze in the crystal ball and predict an economic turn-around, Bryant was cautiously optimistic and said there is evidence that a recovery in the industrial automation markets has already been going on for two to three months. The question that nobody seems able to answer is if this will continue. Caution is still appropriate, but he told the membership to plan on meeting in Scottsdale again in 2010 for the organization’s 16th birthday.

From 2008 Control Engineering , see: PTO reports high growth, cross-industry collaboration .

-Peter Welander, Control Engineering process industries editor