The 15th annual meeting of the Profibus Trade Organization (PTO), the North American marketing arm of Profibus International, was held August 6. Given company travel cuts, this meeting was virtual–so we had virtual August desert heat, virtual T-shirts and a virtual meeting-ending pool party. But otherwise, things are still looking good for Profibus.

Executive Director Mike Bryant reported that Profibus nodes were up a significant 5,000,000 in 2008 to bring total nodes to 28,300,000–well on the way to the goal of 50,000,000 by 2012. Profinet, the Ethernet implementation, also saw significant growth in 2008, with node count at 1,140,000. They are projecting 1,600,000 in 2009 on the way to 3,000,000 nodes in 2010.

This is a membership meeting with a few members of the press invited to listen in, so the emphasis is on what PTO is doing to promote the technology which lays the foundation for member companies to sell Profibus/Profinet products. And Mike, Carl, Manny and the other folks at PTO are constantly on the road doing one-day seminars, technical training and other speaking events. In addition, PTO sponsors newsletters for each technology, with each obtaining significant readership. A popular addition has been “Webinars” or topical discussions accessible live over the Internet and archived available any time from the PTO Website. Another popular communications tool is Carl Henning’s Profiblog where he debunks myths about the network and updates people on the latest seminars.

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