PROFINET – Real-time communication in the field

PROFINET-compatible device and PROFINET cables with connectors

Proven. Performant. Realize the tremendous economic potential of digitalization and networking of OT and IT with PROFINET. The leading Industrial Ethernet standard for automation supports you at the field level in creating integrated processes with real-time communication and connecting them up to the cloud via OPC UA. 

Advantage with PROFINET – Productivity to the power of four

PROFINET gives you new ways to boost your productivity with four key advantages – openness, flexibility, efficiency, and performance.

Consistent openness today and tomorrow

PROFINET embodies the idea of enabling manufacturer-neutral automation solutions with an open standard. PROFINET is 100 percent Industrial Ethernet – the standard that has been established in industrial communications since the 1990s. This creates the basis for a uniform automation network to which automation devices and standard Ethernet devices can be connected.

  • Manufacturer neutrality – connectivity and interoperability with components from various manufacturers
  • Investment protection – because you can continue using existing PROFINET projects and programs when you use TSN in future, and existing PROFIBUS installations can still be integrated
  • Commissioning, diagnostics, and remote maintenance using standard web technologies – because PROFINET is 100 percent Ethernet and supports TCP/IP 
  • Assured ongoing development – PROFINET harmonizes perfectly with cutting-edge standards such as OPC UA, thanks to IEC/IEEE conformity

Maximum flexibility for implementing your ideas

In view of the increasingly shorter innovation and product lifecycles in all sectors, fast response times and optimized processes are crucial to ensuring long-term competitiveness. With its maximum flexibility in plant structures and production processes, PROFINET enables the implementation of innovative machine and plant concepts. You can integrate mobile devices, for example, in relatively inaccessible locations.

  • Wireless communication – via Industrial Wireless LAN (IWLAN) for automatic guided vehicles (AGV) and mobile panels, for example
  • Safety-related communication – thanks to PROFIsafe, there’s no need for special network components, and wireless configuration is possible only with IWLAN components from Siemens
  • Flexible topologies – with linear, star, tree, and ring topologies, allowing for later expansion and offering access to machines and plant via a secured VPN connection, for remote maintenance purposes for example
  • Expandability – thanks to easy integration of existing systems or the addition of new PROFINET nodes

More efficiency for your economic advantage

Continually rising raw material prices and constantly new environmental regulations make it necessary for companies around the world to use their resources more cost-effectively and more efficiently, especially in production. The key to this is PROFINET. Simple engineering accelerates commissioning, and reliable devices boost plant availability. In addition, comprehensive diagnostic and maintenance concepts help reduce plant downtimes and maintenance costs to a minimum.

  • One cable for all purposes – machine, diagnostic, and standard IT data, e.g. via OPC UA
  • Fast and easy device and network diagnostics – via HTML standard websites and practical tools
  • Increased energy efficiency – PROFIenergy switches off individual devices or entire production units when they aren’t required – on a coordinated and centrally controlled basis
  • Easy cabling – thanks to the FastConnect cabling system with color-coding and pre-configured tools
  • Fast device replacement – because the I/O controller automatically detects the new device and assigns its name  
  • Greater ruggedness and reliable data transmission – immunity to interference thanks to switches in field devices plus EMC immunity due to use of shielded as well as fiber-optic cables

High performance for boosting your productivity

Performance and precision determine market success. Precise motion control, high-speed controllers, and the deterministic synchronization of devices with PROFINET are therefore key factors in achieving superior production. With PROFINET and OPC UA over TSN, it will also be possible to operate several real-time-capable protocols in a single network parallel to each other.

  • High-speed data exchange – thanks to short cycle times down to 31.25 μs and optimal use of bandwidth and controller performance through individual configurability of PROFINET nodes
  • High precision – thanks to precise, deterministic application performance independent of other communication loads and jitter of <1 μs
  • Large quantity structures – up to 1,024 devices can be managed per network. Simple configuration of hierarchical controller structures via mechanisms like I-Device
  • High transmission rates – fast and efficient data throughput for large volumes of data without affecting I/O data transfer 
  • Redundant, high-availability installation – can be implemented both with the help of external switches and directly via integral PROFINET interfaces
  • Fast start-up – detect devices and connect them with the I/O controller in < 500 ms

PROFINET and OPC UA – Two standards, one network

Intelligent networking for the digital factory

With PROFINET, you are optimally equipped for the digital transformation and the world of Industry 4.0. PROFINET especially excels at the field level. It can be optimally combined with OPC UA for communication between machines and from there up to the cloud. And it all takes place in a common Industrial Ethernet network. As a new foundation, PROFINET can also use Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN) without having to sacrifice the proven PROFINET services for configuration, parameterization, and diagnostics, or PROFIsafe, PROFIdrive, and PROFIenergy.

Products and systems with PROFINET and OPC UA interface

Siemens consistently relies on PROFINET, the open Industrial Ethernet standard, for both the manufacturing and process industry. That’s why devices and systems communicate via PROFINET throughout Siemens’ uniquely complete automation and drive portfolio. Discover the wide range of products – right through to software solutions and tools.

PROFINET profiles for customized automation solutions

With the PROFINET profiles, you can implement your customized automation solutions quickly and easily. PROFINET profiles specify additional manufacturer-independent characteristics and behaviors for devices and systems. Device-specific details as well as all details of communication are hidden. This ensures that the software engineering of equipment used in the machine or plant remains absolutely independent.

Implement drive concepts quickly and easily with PROFIdrive

Reduce your engineering and commissioning time: PROFIdrive defines the device behavior and access procedures to internal device data for electric drives on PROFINET – from simple frequency converters to high-performance servo controllers. The drive interfaces are kept as simple as possible and free of technological functions.


Your advantages:

  • Uniform application interface for motion control and drive-based safety
  • Replaceability of devices
  • Diagnostics via bus

Safety-related communication – open, integrated, and proven thanks to PROFIsafe

Easier and more reliable implementation of safety applications: PROFIsafe facilitates the realization of safe plants and machines on the basis of PROFINET via a communication line (wired or wireless) – without a second separate bus system. Moreover, the transmitted telegrams are permanently monitored.


Your advantages:

  • Reusability of safety concepts
  • Established standard of safety technology
  • Minimized wiring
  • Fail-safe wireless communication via IWLAN

Truck tour with PROFINET, OPC UA, and TSN

The PROFINET truck will be on the road, touring throughout Europe. Experience the benefits of PROFINET together with OPC UA and TSN up close – and discover how Industrial Ethernet standards can take your company even further forward in the age of digitalization.

Experience digitalization live at first hand

How is PROFINET integrated into automation with the TIA Portal and SIMATIC PCS 7? What could practical implementations look like? What kind of digitalization scenarios can you find in subject areas like simulation, virtualization, digital twins, and cloud connections? In the truck, live demonstrations, practical examples, animations, and use cases of digitalization will clearly illustrate the advantages of PROFINET, OPC UA, and TSN for you. You will also have the chance to ask the experts any questions you may have. If interested, please contact us.

Migration to PROFINET

Switch from PROFIBUS to PROFINET now

Upgrading from PROFIBUS to PROFINET offers a lot of chances and opportunities. PROFINET combines the benefits of PROFIBUS and Ethernet, and is the system of the future. So give your investment the consistent protection offered by PROFINET: Migrate your existing PROFIBUS networks to PROFINET individually, step by step, and with no data loss. Then continue using your PROFIBUS networks without problems!

You can learn how this works here:

Learn more about PROFINET

Learn more about PROFINET – the open standard that is perfectly equipped for future requirements. Click here for additional information!

Support Services

In case of an emergency, Digital Enterprise Services offer you a wide range of services – by phone and online, anytime and anywhere with online support, technical support, the Siemens Industry Service Card and Managed System Services.

Spare Parts Services

The Spare Parts Services from Digital Enterprise Services are available worldwide and ensure a smooth and fast delivery of spare parts – and thus optimal system availability.

Training Services

Industrial learning for every need with training services, continuously and sustainably. Our experts from SITRAIN and Vizendo Virtual Training Solutions offer the right training for you – classroom trainings, online or virtually.

News and references relating to PROFINET

Here you can get the latest information about new events, trade fair dates, references, media, and much more relating to PROFINET.
Teaser Cybersecurity for Industry
Cybersecurity for Industry

Security information

In order to protect plants, systems, machines and networks against cyber threats, it is necessary to implement – and continuously maintain – a holistic, state-of-the-art industrial security concept. Siemens’ products and solutions only form one element of such a concept. For more information about industrial security, please visit.

Our experts will be happy to help you

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

Related topics