News from Profibus / Profinet – Part 12 PROFIBUS — Cost–Efficient Throughout the Lifecycle

Editor: Gabriele Ilg

PROFIBUS is the only fieldbus system that provides equal support for production and process automation as well as drive technology by leveraging a single, end-to-end communications protocol.

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(Bild: Profibus Nutzerorganisation)

The bar across the street from the factory had barely changed over the years. As soon as the older man and the man with the beard said “Cheers” after receiving their first beer, they saw a youngster walk through the door. He was holding a smartphone as he approached the two. “That was a great idea you guys had! Actually, two great ideas!” He smiled as the waiter passed him a beer and added a hash mark to the beer coaster of the man with the beard. “You earned it”, replied the older man and the man with the beard in unison. “What would you guys think of joining my network?”, the youngster asked as he reached for his beeping smartphone. “I would love to tap into your experience and know-how from time to time.” “Forget it!”, said the older man, who was actually very receptive to the idea. “What would I have to do?” The youngster did not respond immediately as he was preoccupied with staring at the entryway…

PROFIBUS is the only fieldbus system that provides equal support for production and process automation as well as drive technology by leveraging a single, end-to-end communications protocol. To meet particularly demanding process automation requirements, PROFIBUS PA offers additional operative performance such as feeding and regulating power to devices and equipment via the bus, an intrinsically safe design configuration for deployment in areas subject to explosion, and the integration of device profiles.

Even Easier With PA Profile V3.02

The familiar approach adopted for the conventional 4...20 mA technology established the basis for PROFIBUS PA profile 3.02, the goal of which was to push the performance limits even further. To this end, the innovations and improvements incorporated primarily focus on making it easier to utilize fieldbus technology in a practical industrial environment. This includes simplifying device integration across the entire lifecycle of a production facility and honoring applicable requirements governing the manner in which software is designated on the device. When a field device is replaced with a successor unit that offers enhanced functionality, the unit initially assumes the role of its predecessor to make the transition easy and to avoid interrupting production operation. Profile 3.02 also defines the mandatory specification of relevant diagnostic information for field devices with respect to the categories listed in NAMUR recommendation NE107 entitled, "Self-Monitoring and Diagnosis of Field Devices", which streamlines plant operation and asset management.

Lower Lifecycle Operating Costs

PROFIBUS PA minimizes automation costs throughout the entire lifecycle of the plant by reducing capital expenditure (CapEx), limiting engineering outlay, and greatly simplifying the methods and procedures followed to verify and document intrinsic safety. Experience has shown that when a direct comparison is made between analog and digitally instrumented plants, proper planning and implementation can yield a savings of up to 30 percent or more – regardless if a new installation is involved or an existing one is revamped.

In this context, it is important to remember that plants utilizing fieldbus communication typically require less time to go online and can therefore start turning a profit much more quickly. This profit is also higher because operational expenditure (OpEx), too, is lower. Plants that rely on analog communication frequently undergo 60 percent more maintenance work than is actually required, which can be neatly avoided by using digital communication and the diagnostic possibilities it affords. The integral coordination of PROFIBUS PA with PROFIBUS DP and PROFINET allows investments made in this fieldbus technology to form part of a viable and safe long-term strategy committed to a production environment that offers proven performance, reliability, and profitability.

“It's all quite simple”, replied the youngster. “You'll see that my network will help you quickly move past restrictions and limitations – just like the PROFIBUS technology that runs our plant. Today, many departments are collaborating more closely than in previous years. The specialists in automation and IT are a perfect example.” A young woman then entered the bar, looked around, and walked straight towards the three men at the counter. “May I introduce you to my girlfriend?”, said the youngster with a radiant smile. “She works in the IT department at our company.” “Now if that's not a good reason to join your network...”, mumbled the man with the beard. He didn't sound too adverse to the idea, however!

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All parts of our Profibus series:

Part 1: PROFIBUS – a Proven Technology

Part 2: PROFIBUS — Diagnostics the Easy Way

Part 3: Profibus — Device Management the Easy Way

Part 4: PROFIBUS — for Stable Process Control

Part 5: PROFIBUS — Certification Ensures Compatibility

Part 6: PROFIBUS — Simple and Safe in Explosion Hazard Zones

Part 7: PROFIBUS — Lowering Lifecycle Costs

Part 8: PROFIBUS Simplifies Device Management

Part 9: How PROFIBUS Makes Network Planning a Breeze

Part 10: Condition Monitoring with PROFIBUS PA

Part 11: PROFINET for Process Automation

Part 12: PROFIBUS — Cost–Efficient Throughout the Lifecycle

Watch the video to find out more about the young engineer, the older man, the man with the beard and PROFIBUS PA.