PI extends Profinet into process automation
Profibus International is standardising the use of Profinet in process automation. After integrating Profibus PA into Profinet IO, PI has extended its work to include the integration of Hart (which it completed recently) and Foundation Fieldbus (which it expects to complete by mid 2007). PI plans to optimise Profinet for use in process automation without changing its core functions.
The work on Hart and FF will allow already installed process instruments to continue to be used unchanged in Profinet systems, regardless whether they use Hart, Profibus PA or Foundation Fieldbus.
Over the next two to three years, PI working groups will concentrate on challenges such as system redundancy, and time synchronisation and stamping. At the same time, Profibus application profiles covering items such as intelligent pumps and weighing devices will be extended for use with Profinet.
The completed Profinet system for process automation is expected to be available by 2008 or 2009.