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News from Profibus / Profinet – Part 4 PROFIBUS — for Stable Process Control

| Editor: Gabriele Ilg

Infrastructure which delivers overall stability is indispensable in the process industry, and PROFIBUS offers this level of stability for data communications in the field and at the control station. The performance features of PROFIBUS PA, which are specifically tailored to process automation, facilitate optimal solutions and enhance overall system availability.

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(Bild: Profibus Nutzerorganisation)

Once the conversations had died down, the “bearded one” spoke up again. Almost everyone in the room knew him, but few would have claimed to be his friend. Most called him “the grouch” behind his back, but they knew he had a lot of experience and they respected his direct manner. He did not allow any problem to be ignored, and with his critical and brutally honest manner he had often helped to avoid shut downs.It was only to be expected that he would want to know more about the availability and robustness of this fieldbus installation. Most of the former systems technicians, who had come to the reunion with their old colleagues, were still somewhat skeptical about this new technology. They were interested in seeing what "the grouch" had to say about it, and he fully intended to continue putting this “youngster” to the test …

Infrastructure which delivers overall stability is indispensable in the process industry, and PROFIBUS offers this level of stability for data communications in the field and at the control station. The performance features of PROFIBUS PA, which are specifically tailored to process automation, facilitate optimal solutions and enhance overall system availability.

Stable, simple installation

From the technical standpoint, installation of PROFIBUS PA is similar to 4…20mA. Two-wire shielded cable is used as the transmission medium. MBP (Manchester Coded, Bus Powered) data transmission technology was developed specifically to meet the needs of process automation and has been standardized in IEC 61158-2. Power distribution and data transmission are implemented in a single cable. This has the following advantages when compared to traditional installations like 4...20mA:

  • Reduced cabling cost and effort
  • Compliance with market demand for very simple installations which are nevertheless safe and reliable, and
  • Full exploitation of the advantages offered by digital data communications right down to the field device, e.g. high-precision with no drift.
  • Additional devices can easily be attached, even during on-going operation.

Continuous monitoring ensures safety

Users repeatedly confirm that PROFIBUS PA based communication just keeps running and running. There is good reason to trust PROFIBUS, but it is better to keep an eye on things nevertheless. State-of-the-art diagnostic tools have provided crucial operational support on PROFIBUS systems for many years, enhancing system availability. Data visualization on state-of-the-art user interfaces and automatic generation of reports on system and device status make it easier to assess the possible need for service intervention.

Impending device or network failure can be detected in time and usually prevented. The network automatically raises a flag if the quality of the installation becomes degraded.

Recommended by users

In an active blog on the online platform LinkedIn, PROFIBUS experts share their views on the stability and data reliability of field installations. Some argue that signals 4...20mA can be transmitted incorrectly without an error message being generated. Incorrect process data reaching the control station is interpreted as being accurate. That is virtually impossible with a digital fieldbus. Transmission errors are detected and reported so that corrective action can be taken. Of course instrumentation can generate incorrect signals, but even in that case there is a higher likelihood that this type of error will be detected on a fieldbus system, as every transmitted process value has its own check if calculated correctly. Every participant in a PROFIBUS network is able to send sophisticated diagnostic data which can provide an early indication of wear and other sources of error.

The old man cringed as the man with the beard accidently knocked over a glass and the brown, sticky liquid spread out on the tabletop. However, the young man reacted calmly and quietly indicated to the waiter that the table needed cleaning. He had not lost his train of thought for the presentation and spontaneously came up with an idea for the next coffee break ...

To be continued: Part 5

www.profibus.com

Further 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.

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