From PROFIBUS to PROFINET

Good reasons for a change.

PROFIBUS has been established for years as the fieldbus for machines and plants. Based on serial bus technology, it revolutionized the automation world in the 80s, and created for the first time the foundation for the distributed concepts common today. In the 90s, Ethernet spread into IT and industry. Today, manufacturing is inconceivable without both systems. But would it not be more efficient to combine the advantages of both systems?

The answer to this question is PROFINET. It merges the industrial experience of PROFIBUS with the openness and flexible options of Ethernet.


You can find answers to the most important questions here:

Can I continue to use my existing PROFIBUS expertise?

PROFIBUS will continue to play an important role in the future. That’s why care was taken in the development of PROFINET to enable simple and smooth integration of PROFIBUS. The engineering of PROFINET is very similar to that of PROFIBUS. You can, for example, convert a SIMATIC ET 200S station to PROFINET simply by replacing an interface module: just change the configuration, reinstall, done.

Do I have to convert the entire plant at once, or can I make the transition in stages?

You can connect existing plant sections to PROFINET simply via the IE/PB Link PN IO or also wirelessly via the IWLAN/PB Link PN IO. The huge diversity of field devices on PROFIBUS can thus be integrated without problems into new PROFINET systems, and you can structure the transition individually and by stages.

Is the transition complicated?

You know the basic techniques: simple integration of distributed I/O such as PROFIBUS DP, assignment of addresses and names as with a PC. This facilitates the change and you can quickly put the advantages of PROFINET to use. Test it out and configure a familiar and frequently used PROFIBUS application with PROFINET. You’ll be convinced by the simple handling and the results.

How will I benefit from the transition?

The many benefits that PROFINET offers in implementing automation tasks mean the transition is always worthwhile: Flexible topologies, one cable for all applications, wireless with safety, and significantlyincreased system performance thanks to  scalable mechanisms speak for themselves.

When is the right time for me?

For many users, now is the best time for changing to PROFINET. The technology is mature and has been tried and tested in many customer applications. The wide range of available devices with PROFINET connection is being extended continuously, so devices are available for just about all application areas and sectors. You can thus use all of the functions with which PROFINET implements automation solutions more flexibly, more efficiently, and with higher performance.