Protocol Series: What is Profinet?

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What is a protocol?

We’re talking about a communications protocol, which is a common ‘language’ which allows connected devices to ‘talk’ to and understand each other. An industrial control system will generally use a common protocol or language between devices such as a PLC, a HMI touch screen, a variable speed drive or a SCADA system.

What is Profinet protocol?

Profinet is an open network communications protocol which uses the Ethernet interface; it’s commonly used in industrial control systems. It was developed and introduced in the early 2000’s in Europe and is maintained by PROFIBUS and PROFINET International (PI).

Which devices support Profinet?

Siemens is the primary PLC manufacturer offering wide support for Profinet across its entire range. Support from Allen-Bradley and Schneider is patchy and varies between models, while Omron does offer communication cards. Gateways and converters from other protocols are readily available and may be the best solution for non-Siemens equipment.