What is Profinet Communication?

What is Profinet Communication?

Profinet is an Ethernet-based communication protocol that adheres to industrial standards. It is widely used in the manufacturing world for machine automation or process automation, where a response time below 100 ms is required. Mainly for communication between controllers or between controllers and field devices. Profinet supports all the features of standard Ethernet. However, standard Ethernet cannot meet the real-time performance requirements of the manufacturing world. So, Profinet was introduced.Profinet uses IT standards such as TCP/IP and XML for communication, configuration, and network diagnostics. This protocol was developed by Siemens and is now managed by the PI Group. It was introduced in the early 2000s.Approximately 100 device manufacturers are part of the Profinet communication ecosystem.

I/O Controller Example:

A master PLC in a Profinet network is referred to as an IO controller. The IO controller is responsible for managing communication with configured IO devices and providing input and output data to them. It acts as a producer for output data and a consumer for input data from IO devices within the Profinet network.

The IO controller, in addition to providing output data to configured IO devices, also accepts input data from these devices, acting as both a producer and a consumer within the Profinet network. This role is analogous to the Master in Profibus communication.




I/O Device:

I/O devices, often referred to as distributed IO field devices, are connected to the IO controller in a Profinet network. These devices play a role similar to the ‘slave’ in Profibus communication. IO devices provide input data to the IO controller and consume output data from the IO controller.

1.Energy Meter:



Robot, Encoder, Remote IO etc  are example for IO device.

Profinet Network Example

  1. Profinet can be utilized for PLC to PLC communication, where one PLC assumes the role of the IO controller, while the other takes on the role of the IO device.

2. PLC to field Device Communication:

Below is an example of PLC-to-field device communication:

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