Starting from an initiative proposed by AIDA (a group of automotive manufacturing companies in Germany) that sought to improve the energy efficiency of their automated manufacturing plants, Profibus International (PI) has developed and introduced PROFIenergy. This is intended for the energy management of production equipment, using existing factory Profinet communications to switch off selected components or even entire systems during idle time such as at weekends and holidays, and also during other brief intervals and unscheduled pauses.
PROFIenergy is a vendor-neutral energy-savings profile that has been developed in co-operation with a working group comprising many of the major equipment suppliers to the automobile automation and production industries. PROFIenergy enables the power consumption of factory automation equipment (such as robot assembly cells, laser cutters and sub-systems) to be managed over a Profinet network. It offers an open and standardised means of controlling energy usage during planned and unplanned breaks in production. No external hard-wired systems are required, the profile can be integrated into individual components by means of a firmware update, and implementation into the first products is expected in 2010.
PROFIenergy will be described and explained further at the annual Profibus and Profinet User Conference (29-30 June 2010, Stratford-on-Avon) alongside several other papers that discuss how Profibus and Profinet systems can be integrated into energy management programmes, particularly in relation to energy-efficient drives. This major convention for users and potential users of modern automation systems offers the choice of three parallel styles of presentation so each delegate can create the most effective and relevant learning experience in relation to his/her plant and experience. These three streams offer: technical and user experience presentations; hands-on practical training and demonstrations of the hardware, fault finding techniques and remote diagnostics; and an exhibition of equipment from relevant suppliers, where experts and presenters will be on hand to explain how to apply their products and systems.
The Conference is a useful venue for engineers, automation professionals, instrument technicians and plant managers to meet Profibus and Profinet users from different companies or industries, and to discuss the benefits and techniques that have been applied in different situations. It is also an excellent way to introduce colleagues to the technology, and for them to learn about the practical aspects of applying and using Profibus on a typical plant in advance of their own automation or energy-saving projects.
More about the Profibus and Profinet User Conference can be found on the conference website at www.profi-bus.co.uk, where a full programme of presentations will shortly be published and a registration form is available.