Following conclusion of the specification work for PROFIBUS PA Profile V3.02, PROFIBUS & PROFINET International (PI) commissioned the Competence Center of BIS Prozesstechnik in Frankfurt to carry out application-relevant field tests. The objective of tests was to check the new functionality in Profile V3.02 for its practicability based on already available implementations in field devices and host systems.
The testers focused on two scenarios: first, the replacement of an existing device while the process is running and, second, the display of status signals according to NE 107 in the event of an error. The quality of the specified functionality was tested on two field devices – a position controller and a temperature transmitter – in conjunction with five different host systems. All test results were clearly positive from the perspective of the test experts of BIS: the profile proved itself to be ideal in real-world industrial scenarios and satisfied the user requirements. The goal of simplifying device replacement was achieved without question.
The Profile V3.02 simplifies device integration over the life cycle of a production plant. It includes provisions for marking the software version on the device, automatic adaptation to the functionality of predecessor versions in cyclic communication, as well as vendor-neutral guidelines for modifications to device software and their effect on compatibility. In addition, the mapping of specific diagnostic information of field devices onto standardized categories according to NE107 (self-monitoring and diagnostics of field devices) and the essential fast transfer of field device data, e. g., during transmission of parameterized data during device replacement, have been specified in the profile as mandatory functionality.
With the release of PA Profile V3.02, PI has achieved a major milestone in the development of PROFIBUS for process automation. Many member companies are currently implementing the functionality into their products.