PROFINET for the process industry


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  • Industrial Ethernet – and thus a reliable, future-proof standard throughout the entire lifecycle of your process plants

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PROFINET for the process industry

Secure, fast, and consistent throughout the entire plant

Creating a consistent, end-to-end communication structure throughout the plant is becoming increasingly important in the process industry. PROFINET supports secure and fast data exchange on all levels. Click through the videos showing how PROFINET supports your requirements especially in the process industry – how PROFINET can be integrated in SIMATIC PCS7, PROFIBUS PA, and HART – and how simple monitoring is with the Safety Matrix.

PROFINET in use – typical applications

PROFINET plays a valuable role in a wide variety of applications in the process industry.

A few examples:

  • Cement production
  • Burner controls
  • Boiler controls
  • Power generation
  • Fire and gas systems
  • Oil production and refinery
  • Desalination
  • Gas tanks
  • Fertilizer production
  • Mixing and dispensing
  • Breweries
  • Wastewater treatment
  • Solar panel manufacturing
  • Rolling mills

Increase productivity

How can industrial communication help to further boost productivity in the process industry? Especially in the often expansive, complex, and heterogeneous plants, smooth data exchange is a must to be able to optimize processes. As an open standard, PROFINET ensures that everyone can communicate with each other – very easily.

All subprocesses work together optimally


PROFINET supports all subprocesses working perfectly together as the basis for increasing the speed and productivity of the overall process. Thanks to the unified IEC 61158/61784 Industrial Ethernet standards, a consistent, end-to-end flow of communication is also ensured in processing plants that are characterized by a wide variety of devices, manufacturers, and technologies. 
This also includes the use of wireless technologies such as WLAN according to IEEE 802.11 as well as mobile communications. Especially in difficult-to-access areas in the often complex plants, wireless communication is a significant factor for smooth operation.

Efficient communication via a single cable


The lower the cabling effort, the simpler and more cost-efficient communication is on the horizontal level between machines and plant sections.
In line with the motto “one cable for all purposes,” PROFINET is the universal network for the transmission and transport of all necessary data such as diagnostics, safety, I/O, energy efficiency, or TCP/IP data – for a practically unlimited variety of stations. And because all communications run according to a single standard, you can start up parts of the system at any time and then continue your project seamlessly.  

Faster time-to-market

Whether you’re supplying an urgently needed vaccine, a new snack, or seasonal fertilizer, the time-to-market requirements in the process industry are increasing. This requires not only greater flexibility in production, but also faster engineering, commissioning, and installation. PROFINET makes you faster in all of these phases – whether through a modular architecture or clever configuration and commissioning tools.

Efficient communication via a single cable


How can you engineer your network faster? First, through simple, flexible network setups that adapt to your plant’s requirements – whether linear, star, or ring topology. Second, with clear administrative structures. With PROFINET, for instance, you can “manage” up to 256 devices from a single SIMATIC controller. In general, PROFINET can confidently handle large and very large quantity structures of 10,000 and more devices.

Fast and easy commissioning


With PROFINET you can install industrial-grade networks in the shortest possible time, with no special knowledge and with no errors – the FastConnect quick-assembly system makes it possible. In addition, PROFINET provides a number of intelligent mechanisms – such as automatic addressing – that enable fast connection of field devices. When you subsequently replace a PROFINET device, the I/O controller detects the new device and automatically assigns its name, which also saves you time.

Secure production

Continuous production is the only way to achieve economically successful and secure production. One of many factors is that it must be possible to intervene in plant operation without interrupting or disturbing operation, for example, through fast, error-free device replacement. PROFINET defines the standard in this case as well.

No downtimes due to PROFINET


PROFINET field devices can be replaced very easily, independent of the manufacturer and software version.

If a device fails, the controller still recognizes its position in the topology because the devices cyclically share topology information with each other. A replacement device can now be used, initially without a name. The controller uses the topology information to assign the new device its position in the network and its unique address.

This means devices can be replaced quickly and error-free with PROFINET – even without an engineering tool.

Run production sustainably

Running production continuously and sustainably requires a high level of transparency. But how can you utilize the process data that is generated all over the place in the devices and systems? For example, how must diagnostic data be recorded and managed to enable condition-based or even predictive maintenance? PROFINET has the answer to this question too.

Diagnosing with PROFINET is easy, fast and reliable


For condition-based and predictive maintenance, devices and components must be capable of recording and communicating their condition.
PROFINET enables reliable field device diagnostics – even in critical areas such as in the chemicals industry according to the NAMUR NE 107 recommendation. In addition, it ensures reliable transmission of alarms and condition reports to the controller. The underlying diagnostics model recognizes various conditions: beyond “good” and “defective”, optional conditions include “maintenance required” and “maintenance request”. This means work instructions are generated from the data – automatically, efficiently, and in a way that ensures availability.

Downloads, Support, Services

Useful information about PROFINET for the process industry

Download in-depth brochures and documents on PROFINET for the process industry. Support links take you, for example, to the product-specific FAQs, manuals, product notes, and technical data. Also explore our services that ensure you have up-to-date expertise and high plant availability.

Technical Support

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For more information on PROFINET, simply contact our experts via e-mail. They will be happy to help you.

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