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10 years of Profisafe

05 December 2008

Beginning in Autumn of 1998, PI (Profibus & Profinet International) achieved a milestone in industrial automation with its establishment of Profisafe. Impressive proof of this lies in the growth in the number of installed Profisafe nodes and systems. So the total number of Profisafe nodes increased by the end of 2007 to 410,000. For the year 2008, PI again expects growth of the installed base of approx. 80%.

10 years of Profisafe
10 years of Profisafe

The success of Profisafe is based primarily on three advantageous paradigm shifts that led to significant cost savings.

Firstly, with Profisafe, it is possible to implement safety functions via Profibus and Profinet, which are already established in all areas of industrial automation. The usual safety-relevant hardware wiring can be eliminated.

Secondly, with Profisafe, the so-called black channel principle has been introduced for the first time. This allows secure transmission from end point to end point via proprietary backplane buses as well as via Profibus and Profinet.

Finally, Profisafe enables use of integrated safety functions in drives. As a result, Profisafe supports material-friendly motion operations, increases flexibility during manufacturing as a result of parameterisable safety devices, and achieves higher availability based on immediate startup after an emergency stop or based on reduced production rate when a warning occurs.

PI has implemented a series of quality measures in order to sustain the success of Profisafe. These include a certification program for Profisafe field devices and for safety controllers (F-Hosts) with Profisafe communication, availability of a development kit with pre-certified Profisafe driver, and training sessions co-conducted with TÜV with the final exam for "Profisafe Certified Designer."

Profisafe is also ideally suited for use in process automation. In addition to advantages such as parameterisation and comprehensive diagnostics, Profisafe also enables wide-range measurements. Many products are already well established on the market.

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