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PROFINET in the manufacturing industry

Communicate fast, securely, and end-to-end

With PROFINET you generate competitive advantages continuously – from engineering and the operating phases to service. One of the key foundations for this is the fact that with this open Ethernet standard, you have complete freedom in the design – whether it’s for the connectivity of a wide variety of devices or the network topology. At the same time, you can implement consistent, end-to-end communication from the field level to the cloud.  

Innovative machine concepts

With PROFINET for machine building you can structure your machine architecture and automation more flexibly and freely – with only a single cable for all I/O and Ethernet communications and no compromises in machine safety. 

Openness through standards

Open communication based on established standards

PROFINET lets you rely on an open standard in your machines that makes end-to-end communication possible between products from different manufacturers using a unified standard (IEC 61158/61784).


PROFINET is based on the international Ethernet standard (IEEE 802.3) and established standards from the world of IT, and fully supports TCP/IP. This means that parameterization, configuration, and diagnostic data is transmitted via TCP/IP, while process data and alarms are communicated using a real-time channel. This is done in real time via a single PROFINET cable. PROFINET also gives you a cost-efficient way of connecting your machines to the IT network or Internet, which gives you the option of remote servicing. And because PROFINET is based 100% on Ethernet, you automatically benefit from innovations from the Ethernet standard.


And there’s more: PROFINET also gives you the freedom to integrate mobile devices using Industrial Wireless LAN (IWLAN).

PROFINET with PROFIsafe for safe machines

Whether required by law or for reasons of liability – your machines must satisfy constantly growing demands on functional safety. PROFINET gives you a particularly efficient way to ensure fail-safe communication: safety data is transmitted using the same cable as process data, which substantially reduces wiring and maintenance costs. You also need no special network components. Fail-safe communication can also be achieved using Industrial Wireless LAN (IWLAN): In all cases, the signal transfer is secured using the integrated PROFIsafe protocol in SIL3 (safety integrity level 3) quality. If necessary, your machine will automatically switch to the desired safe mode, e.g. Safe Torque Off (STO) or Safely Limited Speed (SLS) – all with TÜV certification.


The Shared Device function also supports safety: It can be used to allow both standard control and fail-safe control access to the same PROFINET I/O device, which simplifies the integration of fail-safe functions in an application that does not have a specific safety focus, for example.

Easy integration of machines into facilities

PROFINET for machine building lets you ensure that your machines communicate seamlessly with other machines and can be perfectly integrated into your plant, and that the data from your machines can also be made available at a company level. This means you can be sure of more flexibility, higher throughput, and increased productivity throughout the entire line.

End-to-end machine communication

End-to-end machine communication

Production performance and quality can be improved still further – but only if your machines can communicate perfectly with other units in the customer system. PROFINET is ideal for communication between products from a wide range of manufacturers and ensures that your machines can easily be integrated into existing network infrastructures.


End-to-end machine communication using PROFINET also makes it easy for you to respond quickly to new market demands, using a modular structure for your machines that can be flexibly adjusted or expanded. More specifically, the I-Device function lets you allocate several local controls to a higher-level controller, and those at a local level communicate in turn with several peripheral devices. The higher-level controllers can also share peripheral modules (shared devices) and even have read access to individual inputs and outputs (shared I/O). This end-to-end communication means that less time and effort is required to implement changes.

End-to-end connection to management level as far as the cloud

Availability, status, and capacity utilization: the data from your machine is also relevant to production planning. That makes the ability to connect your machines to the MES level an important argument to offer your customers. You can say that PROFINET makes available MES-relevant data as well as process data, thus supporting MES and ERP systems. In addition, PROFINET can be perfectly integrated into existing infrastructures: your machines can be connected to the plant’s IT network and the Internet with no need for gateways, which means they will even satisfy the conditions for access to a cloud solution to manage machine data.

Fast time-to-market

PROFINET for machine building lets you reduce your engineering costs for your machine and be sure it will be ready for use faster. Whether it’s via variant management, a modular architecture, or supporting configuration and commissioning tools: PROFINET saves you costs and shortens the time-to-market for your machine.

Realize modular machine concepts

Realize modular machine concepts

Would you like to use modular design concepts to adapt your machines quickly to customer-specific requirements? PROFINET will give you a solid time advantage. This means you can easily change, extend, or expand your PROFINET network by entire stations using the option handling function in the network – with no additional engineering cost. Central and local option handling also lets you configure individual stations once at the maximum expansion level, and then the appropriate expansion levels can simply be selected for each individual machine. Automatic address adaptation in the PROFINET network also saves time: when the target IP address is given out at a central location, e.g., on the CPU screen, a generically created PROFINET I/O system is automatically adapted to the target IP address band.


The I-Device and Shared Device functions also let you create the automation architecture of your machines in a more modular and flexible way, and at a reasonable price: I-Device allows a local control to communicate as an I/O device with a higher-level control, while several higher-level controls can access particular modules of this local control at the same time using Shared Device.


If you develop your own control software, the PROFINET driver will give you valuable help in creating PROFINET applications more quickly. It allows individual applications that are implemented on standard PCs for reasons of performance, flexibility, and cost to be simply and reliably linked to PROFINET, no matter which operating system is being used. The PROFINET driver uses the conventional PC Ethernet interface, so it requires no special hardware.

Fast and straightforward commissioning

Fast commissioning saves time and costs, and gives you a faster time-to-market. That’s why we help you commission the PROFINET network for your machines using the free PC-based PRONETA software tool.

The tool automatically reads in your network topology and displays all connected PROFINET devices to enable you to configure them swiftly, e.g., to adapt their IP addresses and device names. You can then conveniently test whether all the components in your PROFINET network are correctly wired using the PRONETA IO check, and this can even be achieved before the machine is fully assembled and the control system installed.

Maximum machine performance

With PROFINET for machine building your machines run up to maximum performance – with maximum precision and safeguards against failure. Fast data exchange, high data speed, deterministic communication with minimal jitter, and additional redundancy mechanisms form the basis for outstanding performance by your machine – and market success for you.

High production output

High production output

PROFINET creates the ideal basis for machines that must achieve a high product throughput combined with high product quality: PROFINET lets you ensure fast processing procedures, reproducible time parameters, and maximum accuracy for all processes, even with local automation for your machines. PROFINET does this not only using IRT technology (real-time capability) for motion control applications, but also with cycle synchronicity with jitter accuracy of less than 1 μs. PROFINET networks also enable time-based I/O assemblies to be used, which can record actual values or initiate actions to within a microsecond based on additional time information. This ensures absolute precision in your manufacturing processes – independently of controller capacity and at maximum machine speed. Using PROFINET, you can produce machines with extremely fast measurement data acquisition thanks to innovative oversampling technology, a high data rate, and an efficient transfer protocol.

Maximum machine availability

You need high-performance machines with maximum availability to deal with competitive and cost pressure. PROFINET lets you increase your machine availability even without additional redundant hardware: the Media Redundancy Protocol (MRP) enables redundant PROFINET communication in the form of ring topology, both using external network components and directly, via integrated PROFINET interfaces. In this way you can be sure that communication will not be affected by an outage involving individual components. It also greatly speeds up troubleshooting in the event of a network outage, enabling it to be remedied sooner.

Sustainable energy efficiency

Price pressure and increasingly stringent environmental and energy regulations mean your machine performance must also come with solid arguments in terms of energy efficiency. PROFINET makes an important contribution here: your customers can switch their machines off centrally via PROFIenergy during breaks, on weekends, or while a batch is being prepared – together with other electrical consumers that are temporarily not required. This helps reduce energy consumption and provides good arguments in favor of your machines.

Optimum machine service

PROFINET for machine building creates the basis for perfect machine service comprising not only reliable device and network diagnostics, both on-site and remote, but also reducing time, costs and down times for maintenance. The result is happy customers – for the long term. Siemens also supports you with services for products, systems, and applications during the entire lifecycle of your machines – for optimized use of your resources as well as higher productivity, flexibility, and efficiency at low overall cost.

Fast fault elimination

Fast fault elimination

A high level of machine availability is vital for your customer satisfaction. PROFINET lets you ensure that you are always up-to-date with the status of your machines and that you can take action before serious damage occurs: because the PROFINET network can be connected to the Internet, you can use the SIMATIC TeleService software via the Internet, for example, and a SCALANCE M router to access your machines and guarantee a world-wide diagnostic service via Ethernet-based mechanisms (TCP/IP, UMTS, etc.) out to field level.

You can also inspect and review diagnostic data and messages from the PROFINET network via the end-to-end system diagnosis in the TIA portal. If a PROFINET device has to be replaced, this can be done with no need for engineering tools: the associated I/O controller recognizes the replacement device using topology information and automatically assigns the correct name and address to it. This speeds up the device replacement process and reduces the downtimes for your machines. Is the network quality right? Are the projected cycles adhered to? These and other questions can be easily answered by performing an online analysis in real time using the Bus Analyzer Agent.

Design and engineering


PROFINET reduces the complexity in plant engineering and enables centralized engineering for the entire process. This greatly accelerates integration. In addition, maximum flexibility ensures simple building and renovation of the entire plant: Depending on the process step, components can be added or replaced, or entire plant designs can be multiplied. It's also possible to reuse individual plant sections. All this makes a significant contribution to greater efficiency in design and engineering.

Open standard

Open standard

PROFINET facilitates the smooth communication of products from various manufacturers based on the PROFINET standard (IEC 61158/61784). It focuses on clear definitions and meaningful roles such as fast start-up (of devices), PROFIenergy (energy efficiency), parameterization, and diagnostics.