PROFINET Installation Tips & Tricks On Guidelines


Are your PROFINET assets installed within specification? How do you ensure high network availability?

Profinet is a very widely utilised Industrial Ethernet technology and is respected for its advanced diagnostics, simple commissioning, and robustness within various industrial environments. Within the installation and implementation of a Profinet network, various precautions should be taken, and standards put in place that should be adhered to. Without such adherence to the guidelines, communication issues may arise.

Minimizing Interference and Noise

Cable clearance guidelines
Profinet cables running in close proximity to high voltage machinery and unshielded high voltage cables can cause severe EMC interference and disruption of the networks communications.
  • Always maintain a minimum 20cm separation distance between Profinet cables and un-shielded supply cables (>400V)
  • Fiber optics should be considered when running though an area with substantial risk of EMC interference 
  • Utilise earthed metallic cable trays or conduit to protect cabling from interference when running between cabinets.
Proper Grounding Techniques Implemented
Proper grounding is crucial for all Profinet Installations, Cables should be earthed at each device, and as the cable enters and exits cabinets to the functional earthing system.
Why is this important? Profinet cables have a shield that surrounds the cores, to protect the signal from noise and EMC injection. The shield carries any pickup to earth, the path from where the noise is picked up, to where  it is drained to earth should be as short as possible.

Utilise the right network components for your PROFINET Network

Bad connectors = Bad communications!

Always use Profinet connectors, standard RJ45 connectors are not acceptable for industrial environments:
  • Industrial RJ45 connectors have an steel housing that earth the cables shield within the device
  • Connector offers cable strain relief, connectors clamp onto the cables sheath to ensure the cores do not slip loose under movement device or cable movement
  • Rugged industrialised design
When building up cables, be sure to utilise an appropriate Profinet stripping tool, in order to reduce accidental wiring faults and ensure a consistent connection at each device.

Managed Switches
Although utilising managed switches is not a prerequisite for a Profinet network, it is extremely useful, and crucial for consistent up time, high network availability and ease of maintenance and troubleshooting. An un-managed switch has no built in intelligence, except to send incoming Ethernet frames out to the right port (Port the destination device is connected to). 
Managed switches add intelligence, supporting a number of useful IT protocols. Some of the features that a managed switch will offer you over an un-managed switch:
  • Integrated SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) and LLDP (Link Layer Discovery Protocol), specialised protocols allowing users to retrieve data and statistics saved within switches, such as retries, real-time bandwidth utiilisation, network topology
  • Mirror port, a managed switch will allow you set up a mirror port that channels all the switches data to a single configured port. This is extremely useful if you want to run diagnostics on your Profinet network without interrupting transmission. You can utilise Profinet Engineering tools such as Procentec Netilities to monitor all network traffic on a mirror port and provide valuable diagnostic information to user.
  • Certain managed switches can be utilised for the creation of redundant network structures
  • Advanced features, may include: Loop protection, advanced VLAN functionality, More precise diagnostics and control of network traffic

Precise Commissioning, Maintenance and Diagnostic Tools

With any industrial automation technology, specialized tools, software and network components can assist you with various tasks, from: Network commission, upgrade and to run diagnostics. There are plenty of great tools available on the market. Some of the more popular tools imperative for your installation are listed below:

Dedicated PROFINET diagnostics engineering tool. Generating a live list and providing various crucial statistics about the network. Netilities is crucial when commissioning Profinet networks, providing maintenance tasks and troubleshooting problems. You can interface Netilities with you network using a standard Ethernet/WLAN port on a PC, or the ProfiTap for a secure connection.

If you don't have a mirror port available on a managed switch by the PLC, you may require a dedicated tap device, that allows you to monitor traffic and information running through the network. A tap device can also be a more secure way to connect you PC to your industrial network, allowing only one way traffic for monitoring.

Permanent diagnostics monitoring, trending and network overview. The Atlas will assist you managing and maintaining large factory networks by providing you with insight and knowledge of the networks health, state and performance. The Atlas offers a unique Quality Factor rating, that takes a weighted algorithm of the networks performance and risk and displays this in a user friendly and interpret-able manner.

Internationally certified training ensuring site competence 

One of the first steps all organisations should take to ensure a successful Profinet Integration is ensure all stakeholders involved with the implementation have the necessary training, foundation understanding and certification.

The PROFINET / PROFIBUS Competence Center of Southern Africa runs the Certified PROFINET Engineers Course periodically on our scheduled course at our offices, alternatively at a sites convenience. 

Why should I attend training?
Certified PROFINET Engineers course provides the foundation for a clear site competence, knowledge and know how. Training is crucial for any installers, designers and C&I Maintenance staff. 

What will be covered?
The PROFINET Engineers Course combines in-depth theoretical knowledge along with hands-on practical exposure. 

How long is the course?
The Certified PROFINET Engineers Course spans over 2.5 days, with an written and practical examination to be completed on the last day. Lunch will be provided each day.

How do i sign up?
Contact the IDX Academy to obtain additional information, booking forms and pricing  |  (+27) 11-548-9960  |  WEBSITE

For more information please feel free to contact the PROFIBUS / PROFINET Competence Centre  |  +27 11 548 9960  |

Popular posts from this blog

Common pitfalls when installing a Modbus RS485 network on site

IEC61850 to Modbus TCP/IP, EtherNet/IP, M-bus, PROFINET or PROFIBUS

IDX 8 Tag Manager - Managing the unmanagable?