PROFINET in the manufacturing industry

PROFINET in the manufacturing industry

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PROFINET in the manufacturing industry

Communicate fast, securely, and end-to-end

With PROFINET you generate competitive advantages continuously – from engineering and the operating phases to service. One of the key foundations for this is the fact that with this open Ethernet standard, you have complete freedom in the design – whether it’s for the connectivity of a wide variety of devices or the network topology. At the same time, you can implement consistent communication from the field level to the cloud and use this network for various services.

Innovative machine concepts

With PROFINET for machine building you can structure your machine architecture and automation more flexibly and freely – with only a single cable for all I/O and Ethernet communications and no compromises in machine safety. 

Open communication based on established standards


PROFINET lets you rely on an open standard in your machines that makes end-to-end communication possible between products from different manufacturers using a unified standard (IEC 61158/61784).


PROFINET is based on the international Ethernet standard (IEEE 802.3) and established standards from the world of IT, and fully supports TCP/IP. This means that parameterization, configuration, and diagnostic data is transmitted via TCP/IP, while process data and alarms are communicated using a real-time channel. This is done in real time via a single PROFINET cable. In addition, PROFINET allows you to connect your machines cost-efficiently to the IT network or the Internet. This enables worldwide and secure remote access to your machine and the possibility of remote services. OPC UA in the PROFINET network is used here as the communication standard in production. Vertical connections to higher-level systems as well as communication between machines are facilitated by the use of standardized companion specifications and protected as required by integrated safety mechanisms. 


And there’s more: PROFINET also gives you the freedom to integrate mobile devices using Industrial Wireless LAN (IWLAN) and because PROFINET is 100% Ethernet, you simply benefit from the innovations of the Ethernet standard.

PROFINET with PROFIsafe for safe machines


Whether required by law or for reasons of liability – your machines must satisfy constantly growing demands on functional safety. PROFINET gives you a particularly efficient way to ensure fail-safe communication: safety data is transmitted using the same cable as process data, which substantially reduces wiring and maintenance costs. You also need no special network components. Fail-safe communication can also be achieved using Industrial Wireless LAN (IWLAN): In all cases, the signal transfer is secured using the integrated PROFIsafe protocol in SIL3 (safety integrity level 3) quality. If necessary, your machine will automatically switch to the desired safe mode, e.g. Safe Torque Off (STO) or Safely Limited Speed (SLS) – all with TÜV certification.


The Shared Device function also supports safety: It can be used to allow both standard control and fail-safe control access to the same PROFINET I/O device, which simplifies the integration of fail-safe functions in an application that does not have a specific safety focus, for example.

Easy integration of machines into facilities

PROFINET for machine building lets you ensure that your machines communicate seamlessly with other machines and can be perfectly integrated into your plant, and that the data from your machines can also be made available at a company level. This means you can be sure of more flexibility, higher throughput, and increased productivity throughout the entire line.

End-to-end machine communication


Production performance and quality can be improved still further – but only if your machines can communicate perfectly with other units in production. PROFINET is ideal for communication between products from a wide range of manufacturers and ensures that your machines can easily be integrated into existing network infrastructures.


End-to-end machine communication using PROFINET also makes it easy for you to respond quickly to new market demands, using a modular structure for your machines that can be flexibly adjusted or expanded. More specifically, the I-Device function lets you allocate several local controls to a higher-level controller, and those at a local level communicate in turn with several peripheral devices. The higher-level controllers can also share peripheral modules (shared devices) and even have read access to individual inputs and outputs (shared I/O). This end-to-end communication means that less time and effort is required to implement changes.

End-to-end connection to management level as far as the cloud


Availability, status, and capacity utilization: the data from your machine is also relevant to production planning. That makes the ability to connect your machines to the MES level an important argument to offer your customers. You can say that PROFINET makes available MES-relevant data as well as process data, thus supporting MES and ERP systems. In addition, PROFINET can be perfectly integrated into existing infrastructures: your machines can be connected to the plant’s IT network and the Internet with no need for gateways, which means they will even satisfy the conditions for access to a cloud solution to manage machine data.


However, OPC UA offers a decisive advantage in this case. It is manufacturer- and platform-independent, supports extensive safety mechanisms and can be optimally combined with PROFINET in a common Industrial Ethernet network.

Fast time-to-market

PROFINET for machine building lets you reduce your engineering costs for your machine and be sure it will be ready for use faster. Whether it’s via variant management, a modular architecture, or supporting configuration and commissioning tools: PROFINET saves you costs and shortens the time-to-market for your machine.

Realize modular machine concepts


Would you like to use modular design concepts to adapt your machines quickly to customer-specific requirements? PROFINET will give you a solid time advantage. This means you can easily change, extend, or expand your PROFINET network by entire stations using the option handling function in the network – with no additional engineering cost. Central and local option handling also lets you configure individual stations once at the maximum expansion level, and then the appropriate expansion levels can simply be selected for each individual machine. Automatic address adaptation in the PROFINET network also saves time: when the target IP address is given out at a central location, e.g., on the CPU screen, a generically created PROFINET I/O system is automatically adapted to the target IP address band.


The I-Device and Shared Device functions also let you create the automation architecture of your machines in a more modular and flexible way, and at a reasonable price: I-Device allows a local control to communicate as an I/O device with a higher-level control, while several higher-level controls can access particular modules of this local control at the same time using Shared Device.


If you develop your own control software, the PROFINET driver will give you valuable help in creating PROFINET applications more quickly. It allows individual applications that are implemented on standard PCs for reasons of performance, flexibility, and cost to be simply and reliably linked to PROFINET, no matter which operating system is being used. The PROFINET driver uses the conventional PC Ethernet interface, so it requires no special hardware.

Fast and straightforward commissioning


Fast commissioning saves time, effort and costs - and accelerates your time-to-market. We support you in commissioning and planning your PROFINET network and offer comprehensive software from planning to service.


SINETPLAN - The Siemens Network Planner supports you as a planner of automation systems based on PROFINET and facilitates the professional and forward-looking planning of a system. Benefit from the efficient planning and design of PROFINET networks - especially when so-called non-real-time communication is added to real-time communication, for example TCP/IP data. SINETPLAN calculates and simulates the network load in a PROFINET network and thus ensures your operational reliability during operation.


PRONETA - The free tool automatically reads in your network topology and displays all connected PROFINET devices to enable you to configure them swiftly, e.g., to adapt their IP addresses and device names. You can then conveniently test whether all the components in your PROFINET network are correctly wired using the PRONETA IO check, and this can even be achieved before the machine is fully assembled and the control system installed.


SINEMA  Server (später SINEC NMS) - With a suitable network management software, such as SINEMA Server from Siemens, problems can be detected early and appropriate measures implemented in good time. SINEMA Server is suitable e.g. for discrete manufacturing applications as well as for the process industry and is capable of displaying the entire industrial network – from the network components right through to automation components, such as controllers and distributed I/O devices. SINEMA Server offers a range of options in the field of network management and diagnostics. For example, the reporting function ca display statistics for any period of time. Third-party devices can be included as profiles in SINEMA Server, as well as a host of other features. 


SIMATIC Automation Tool - The SIMATIC Automation Tool enables you to manage TIA automation components during commissioning, maintenance tasks or during servicing. The special feature of the SIMATIC Automation Tool is that although it is based on TIA Portal projects, the individual tasks can be performed independently of the engineering framework. This allows not only firmware updates but also downloads of complete (F-) projects and is therefore a perfect supplement for commissioning, maintenance and service.

Maximum machine performance

With PROFINET for machine building your machines run up to maximum performance – with maximum precision and safeguards against failure. Fast data exchange, high data speed, deterministic communication with minimal jitter, and additional redundancy mechanisms form the basis for outstanding performance by your machine – and market success for you.

High production output


PROFINET creates the ideal basis for machines that must achieve a high product throughput combined with high product quality: PROFINET lets you ensure fast processing procedures, reproducible time parameters, and maximum accuracy for all processes, even with local automation for your machines. PROFINET does this not only using IRT technology (real-time capability) for motion control applications, but also with cycle synchronicity with jitter accuracy of less than 1 μs. PROFINET networks also enable time-based I/O assemblies to be used, which can record actual values or initiate actions to within a microsecond based on additional time information. This ensures absolute precision in your manufacturing processes – independently of controller capacity and at maximum machine speed. Using PROFINET, you can produce machines with extremely fast measurement data acquisition thanks to innovative oversampling technology, a high data rate, and an efficient transfer protocol.

Maximum machine availability


You need high-performance machines with maximum availability to deal with competitive and cost pressure. PROFINET lets you increase your machine availability even without additional redundant hardware: the Media Redundancy Protocol (MRP) enables redundant PROFINET communication in the form of ring topology, both using external network components and directly, via integrated PROFINET interfaces. In this way you can be sure that communication will not be affected by an outage involving individual components. It also greatly speeds up troubleshooting in the event of a network outage, enabling it to be remedied sooner.

Sustainable energy efficiency


Price pressure and increasingly stringent environmental and energy regulations mean your machine performance must also come with solid arguments in terms of energy efficiency. PROFINET makes an important contribution here: your customers can switch their machines off centrally via PROFIenergy during breaks, on weekends, or while a batch is being prepared – together with other electrical consumers that are temporarily not required. This helps reduce energy consumption and provides good arguments in favor of your machines.

Optimum machine service

PROFINET for machine building creates the basis for perfect machine service comprising not only reliable device and network diagnostics, both on-site and remote, but also reducing time, costs and down times for maintenance. The result is happy customers – for the long term. Siemens also supports you with services for products, systems, and applications during the entire lifecycle of your machines – for optimized use of your resources as well as higher productivity, flexibility, and efficiency at low overall cost.

Fast fault elimination


A high level of machine availability is vital for your customer satisfaction. PROFINET lets you ensure that you are always up-to-date with the status of your machines and that you can take action before serious damage occurs: because the PROFINET network can be connected to the Internet, you can use the SIMATIC TeleService software via the Internet, for example, and a SCALANCE M router to access your machines and guarantee a world-wide diagnostic service via Ethernet-based mechanisms (TCP/IP, UMTS, etc.) out to field level.

You can also inspect and review diagnostic data and messages from the PROFINET network via the end-to-end system diagnosis in the TIA portal. If a PROFINET device has to be replaced, this can be done with no need for engineering tools: the associated I/O controller recognizes the replacement device using topology information and automatically assigns the correct name and address to it. This speeds up the device replacement process and reduces the downtimes for your machines. Is the network quality right? Are the projected cycles adhered to? These and other questions can be easily answered by performing an online analysis in real time using the Bus Analyzer Agent.

Design and engineering

PROFINET reduces the complexity in plant engineering and enables centralized engineering for the entire process. This greatly accelerates integration. In addition, maximum flexibility ensures simple building and renovation of the entire plant: Depending on the process step, components can be added or replaced, or entire plant designs can be multiplied. It's also possible to reuse individual plant sections. All this makes a significant contribution to greater efficiency in design and engineering.

Open standard

PROFINET facilitates the smooth communication of products from various manufacturers based on the PROFINET standard (IEC 61158/61784). It focuses on clear definitions and meaningful roles such as fast start-up (of devices), PROFIenergy (energy efficiency), parameterization, and diagnostics.


Additional network components can be easily integrated – including older plant sections based on PROFIBUS.  Existing system components can be easily connected to PROFINET: via IE/PB LINK PN IO or wirelessly in combination with SCALANCE W. This enables field devices (e.g. SINAMICS drives) on the PROFIBUS to be easily integrated into the new PROFINET systems – for an individual and step-by-step changeover:

Variant management

It’s possible to expand or extend stations in PROFINET networks with very little effort. Thanks to the option handling function, it’s also possible to expand or adjust components within the stations – without changing the network performance.

Flexible topologies

PROFINET can be flexibly transferred to various topologies. In addition to linear, star, and tree structures, redundant rings and wireless technology are also possible – using connections made from copper, glass fiber-optic, or plastic optical fiber cables. Of course, Industrial Wireless LAN can also be integrated for wireless connection in such networks.

Planning and simulation

The Siemens Network Planner supports you as a planner of automation systems based on PROFINET and facilitates the professional and proactive planning of a system.

Benefit from the efficient planning and layout of PROFINET networks, especially if so-called “non-real-time communication” such as TCP/IP data is used in addition to real-time (RT) or IRT communication. SINETPLAN calculates and simulates the network load in a PROFINET network and ensures operational security during operation.


A major challenge of commissioning plants is adhering to the tight time windows from project start until implementation. PROFINET allows you to save considerable time since, for example, you can test, commission, and validate individual plant sections independently. These partial commissioning operations can be scheduled depending on the degree of implementation. With PROFINET you thus benefit from fast, flexible commissioning and simultaneously reduce your costs.

The free tool PRONETA supports you. PRONETA automatically reads the topology of your network and displays all connected PROFINET devices, so that you can quickly carry out their configuration e.g the adaption of IP-addresses and device names.  

You can conveniently test whether all components in your PROFINET network are correctly wired using PRONETA’s IO-Check -– even before the machine has been completely assembled and the controller installed.

One cable for all purposes

PROFINET is a universal network for the transmission and transport of all necessary process data such as I/O-, safety- and diagnostic data,  but also user data for energy data recording, quality assurance and other TCP/IP data. 

For the vertical integration of the automation level to higher-level systems (such as SCADA- or MES-systems) or for horizontal communication between different plant components, OPC UA can be easily used in the same network. It doesn’t get much more efficient than that.

Easy cabling

PROFINET allows you to easily and quickly assemble copper and fiber-optic cables on-site thanks to color-coded assignment of cables to plugs. The costs are reduced throughout the entire system lifecycle due to reliable shield contacting, strain-relief, and good EMC shielding for copper cables.

Operation and maintenance

Plants must run reliably for maximum efficiency and productivity. PROFINET tremendously improves this reliability and ensures monitoring of the entire plant with consistent, end-to-end system diagnostics. The production parameters used ensure data security and Safety Integrated for the safety of people and machines. PROFINET also helps boost energy efficiency: With the standardized PROFIenergy profile, consumers can be switched off during idle times and subsequently switched on again.


Thanks to its ruggedness, PROFINET can also be used without any problems in EMI-critical areas. PROFINET guarantees system availability even in large networks. Thanks to prioritization and high data bandwidths from the Ethernet standard, there is no shortage of critical process data.

High transmission rates

You can also integrate PROFINET devices in networks with higher transmission rates – this protects your investments.

Energy efficiency

PROFIenergy allows PROFINET devices to be switched off during idle times – as well as the recording of measured values and status information for energy and load management.

Open standard

PROFINET is based on the open Ethernet standard of the IEEE (IEEE 802.3) and combines the openness of this standard with the requirements of automation.

Standardized profiles enable easy data exchange between a wide variety of PROFINET devices. PA profiles 4.0, PROFIsafe, PROFIdrive and PROFIenergy unify the communication.

With PROFINET you get consistent networking from the field level to the cloud. While PROFINET represents the basis of communication at the field level, protocols such as OPC UA can be used for vertical connection or communication between plant components in the same network.

Secured access

All options of the standard Ethernet are available to you.  You can secure access to your network according to you needs and use secure VPN connections to access machines and systems worldwide – for remote maintenance, for example. The automation cell and all devices without their own protection function are protected by a security module against unauthorized access, such as espionage and manipulation. For the vertical connections to higher-level systems as well as the communication between machines are facilitated by the use of standardized Companion Specifications and protected by integrated security mechanisms on demand – here OPC UA is used.


Safety Integrated offers reliable protection of people, machines, and the environment – and is thus the answer to continuously increasing requirements placed on functional security. The function is integrated directly in engineering, communication, and the devices and also makes wireless technology secure.

Device/network diagnostics

Today, data must be reliably transmitted from the field level to cloud-based systems. With a suitable network management software such as SINEMA Server from Siemens problems can be identified early and action can be taken in good time. SINEMA Server, for example, is suitable for discrete manufacturing and the process industry and can map the entire industrial network – from network devices to automation devices such as controllers and distributed peripherals. SINEMA Server offers many options in the area of network management and diagnostics. For example, the reporting feature provides a representation of statistics over any period of time. Available profiles enable the display of third-party components in SINEMA Server and much more.

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How professionals network their machines

How professionals network their machines


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