PI North America meeting: Profinet growth, Ford Powertrain integration

Ford Powertrain expanded standardization of automation systems over the past five years; greater Profinet communications were part of the mix, said Mike Bastian, global controls manager of Ford Powertrain at the 18th General Assembly Meeting (GAM) of PI North America.

11/16/2012


Greater standardization of automation systems in Ford Powertrain assembly lines over five years and continued expansion of Profinet in North America were among highlights at the 18th General Assembly Meeting (GAM) of PI North America, Sept. 26-27, 2012, according to PI North America’s executive director, Michael J Bryant. The keynote presentation, delivered by Mike Bastian, global controls manager of Ford Powertrain, described how, over the past five years, Ford Powertrain expanded automation standardization.

Profinet, an industrial Ethernet protocol, is at the heart of the efforts, Bastian said. Robustness and speed of Profinet brings many benefits, one example being a "virtual RFID system" based around a high-availability, redundant PLC system that has enabled Ford Powertrain to dispense with parts tagging. Bastian added that his company is now achieving “world class” production standards to match any in the industry.

"Taking ownership of both hardware and software is another part of the process," he said. "With 'ownership' comes responsibility, which makes people nervous. But it’s the right thing to do because it brings better control, closer integration with IT, improved throughput and better diagnostics." Bastian commented that his department is now looking towards better energy management, where “We believe a lot of work can be done." Many of Bastian’s initiatives are now rolling out across other Ford plants. Bryant said Bastian gave “one of the most impressive Profinet presentations I’ve ever had the pleasure of listening to.”

In his opening address, Bryant also spoke of PI’s Profibus. “The Profibus market is expected to grow in 2012 by a further 4 million nodes, to reach a total of about 44 million," he said. "It's reassuring that Profibus continues to flourish even as Profinet is escalating its market share."

However, Bryant expects that the greater flexibility, higher performance, and greater versatility of Profinet will increasingly take precedence. "Today, every fifth device sold is for Profinet compared to some years ago when it was 1 in 15," he said.

Bryant also reported that the membership of PI North America had passed 150 and that a new web site is under construction integrating the previously separate "All Things PROFINET" site into a re-designed us.profinet.com.  

Profinet also featured in a presentation by Stefan Gallmann, head of industry management, Windenergy, Phoenix Contact. He explained how Profinet is used to integrate the control systems of wind turbines. It’s supporting safety too, he said. Implementing Profinet greatly simplifies the network architecture of a typical wind turbine park, he added.

The second day of the GAM saw the focus turn to process automation. Hunter Harrington from the PROFI Interface Centre in Johnson City - a North American PI Competence Centre – described the Profinet proxy solution that allows “sub-networks,” such as Profibus PA, HART, and Foundation fieldbus, to be connected to Profinet. PI Chairman Karsten Schneider also explained the 3.02 Profile for Profibus PA, which defines process-specific functionality such as device exchange similar to 4-20mA by automatic identification number adaption, simplified but powerful diagnostics, and faster parameter transmission.

The process theme was later emphasized by Jim Simmons from DuPont, who described the fieldbus "learning curve" that was triggered by his company’s purchase of a PCS7 control system. “Through that project I have become a fieldbus proselytizer within DuPont,” he said, adding "I believe any new control system installation should have to justify NOT using fieldbus technology."

PI North American board of directors

In July, PI North America announced appointment of Michael Rothwell, Director of Controls and Industry Solutions (CIS) for Phoenix Contact, to its Board of Directors. Rothwell joined other board members Raj Batra of Siemens Industry, Bernie Anger of GE Intelligent Platforms, Jason Knuteson of Endress+Hauser, and Bryant. The Board met on Sept. 25, 2012, before the PI North America annual General Assembly Meeting, in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Read more PI North America news from that organization.

http://www.us.profibus.com 

- Edited by Mark T. Hoske, content manager, CFE Media, Control Engineering and Plant Engineering and mhoske(at)cfemedia.com.



No comments
Consulting-Specifying Engineer's Product of the Year (POY) contest is the premier award for new products in the HVAC, fire, electrical, and...
Consulting-Specifying Engineer magazine is dedicated to encouraging and recognizing the most talented young individuals...
The MEP Giants program lists the top mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineering firms in the United States.
High-performance buildings; Building envelope and integration; Electrical, HVAC system integration; Smoke control systems; Using BAS for M&V
Pressure piping systems: Designing with ASME; Lab ventilation; Lighting controls; Reduce energy use with VFDs
Smoke control: Designing for proper ventilation; Smart Grid Standard 201P; Commissioning HVAC systems; Boilers and boiler systems
Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Consulting-Specifying Engineer case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.

Protecting standby generators for mission critical facilities; Selecting energy-efficient transformers; Integrating power monitoring systems; Mitigating harmonics in electrical systems
Commissioning electrical systems in mission critical facilities; Anticipating the Smart Grid; Mitigating arc flash hazards in medium-voltage switchgear; Comparing generator sizing software
Integrating BAS, electrical systems; Electrical system flexibility; Hospital electrical distribution; Electrical system grounding
As brand protection manager for Eaton’s Electrical Sector, Tom Grace oversees counterfeit awareness...
Amara Rozgus is chief editor and content manager of Consulting-Specifier Engineer magazine.
IEEE power industry experts bring their combined experience in the electrical power industry...
Michael Heinsdorf, P.E., LEED AP, CDT is an Engineering Specification Writer at ARCOM MasterSpec.