This week’s edition of the PI North Americs (formerly PTO) annual general meeting in Phoenix celebrates 20 years of Profibus/Profinet/Profisafe industrial networking in North America.

Chairman and Executive Director Mike Bryant began the session–the largest gathering so far–recounting the people and experiences that contributed to the growth of the organization and the technology over the past 20 years.

Where will the next area of growth lie for Profinet? Bryant and others are exploring the application of Profinet as part of the Internet of Things (or Industrial Internet of Things). As a technology built upon Ethernet, Profinet is an enabling technology for moving data from the “things” part of IoT to the Internet part.

My take on this is that they are on the right track. The IoT is essentially just moving data from the sensor/device level to a level where data becomes information displayed in such a way to enable analysis and decision making. Technologies such as Profinet will be an essential link in the train.

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