ProfiEnergy is a protocol (OK, I’m simplifying) that, when implemented, enables engineers to put selected automation systems into a pause (sort of a sleep mode) when the machine or equipment is not needed for active production. The idea springs from the observation that many of these machines and processes are on 24/7 because operations is trying to avoid the dreaded “Monday morning startup” challenge where you shut a machine off, then turn it on and the startup seldom works as quickly and efficiently as desired.

Yesterday, Frithjof Klase, a university professor, reported on a study of potential energy savings using ProfiEnergy. This protocol, by the way, was just released last year, so widespread implementations are not done, yet. At any rate, he conducted a couple of real-world energy usage studies. His conclusion is that a well implemented ProfiEnergy solution should effect energy savings of around 33 percent. Certainly an idea worth exploring.

Last year, GE announced it would be standardizing on Profinet. Bernie Anger, a vice president at GE Intelligent Platforms, told the assembly why GE selected this network. There were three reasons: organization (GE was impressed by the marketing and technical support of the Profibus organization plus the extensive partner network); Technical merit; and fit with GE core industries served.

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