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News from Profibus / Profinet – Part 8 PROFIBUS Simplifies Device Management

Editor: Gabriele Ilg

PROFIBUS technology offers a myriad of benefits throughout the lifecycle of a plant that extends far beyond communications alone. What starts out with simplified planning exercises and streamlined documentation continues at the commissioning stage and does not stop when the plant is ready to be expanded or enhanced.

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(Bild: Profibus Nutzerorganisation)

The youngster was quick to notice that his idea of a proper inspection tour through the plant did not go over well. The retired plant operators and maintenance and service personnel saw “their” plant with their own eyes and therefore immediately split up in different directions. That withstanding, the youngster was pleased that the group was eager to learn more about the current state of automation technology. He looked up and knew that he had people who would help him bring all the participants back into the lecture hall 30 minutes later. The dark clouds were now moving in closer. Off in the distance, he could see lightning.The man with the beard had also apparently taken a keen interest in a particular valve positioner. Was the older man right in saying that the man with the beard really couldn't walk past a single device without playing with it?

PROFIBUS technology offers a myriad of benefits throughout the lifecycle of a plant that extends far beyond communications alone. What starts out with simplified planning exercises and streamlined documentation continues at the commissioning stage and does not stop when the plant is ready to be expanded or enhanced.

Device Management

A large percentage of the maintenance performed on a plant relates to the field instrumentation. PROFIBUS PA simplifies maintenance operations using different mechanisms. I and M (identification and maintenance) parameters allow each field device to be precisely and uniquely identified along with all accompanying operating instructions and spare parts lists. A central device management facility can then be used to directly access the current documentation. This puts an end to the laborious and time-consuming task of searching for instructions that are filed away in some obscure folder or, worse, are no longer up to date. When maintenance is performed, the repair work, procurement of spare parts, or replacement of a device are carried out considerably faster and with better results. The diagnostic data that is transferred via PROFIBUS PA provides the plant operator and service personnel with important information. A PROFIBUS device thereby continually reports on its current status and indicates whether the device is being operated manually.

Device replacement

Field devices used in the process industry are designed for a long service life. At some point, however, even the most robust device must be replaced or exchanged. With PROFIBUS PA, this is not a problem!

This largely has to do with the engineering aspect of planning and designing the measuring points in a generic fashion; the field device and version are initially unknown parameters ("neutral channel"). Only during installation and commissioning is the device formally assigned to the system via a parameter tool along with a corresponding description.

In the event that the device needs to be replaced, the new device automatically (provided that it complies with the current 3.02 version of the PROFIBUS PA profile) adapts to the new version of the device replaced. It accesses and uses the device master file (DMF) defined in the system.

The group just reached the build-ing as thunder gave rise to a heavy rain shower. “That was close”, commented the older man. “Yeah, for us!”, the man with the beard replied as he turned to the youngster and said, “You, on the other hand, need to return to the plant. I moved a positioner to manual mode and am not sure if I remembered to move it back again.”A muffled ring tone added to the noise created by the rain. The youngster pulled out his smartphone, held it to his ear, smiled, and ended the call with a "Thank you.” “Everything's OK”, he said and led the group back to the conference room, where fresh, hot coffee was awaiting them…

To be continued: Part 9

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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