Wireless Profibus and Profinet for factory automation

17 March 2009

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PI (Profibus and Profinet International) has defined the upcoming work for wireless communication with sensors and actuators in factory automation. Based on preliminary investigations, PI has decided to use radio technology compliant with IEEE 802.15.1.

Investigations showed that a series of different requirements exist for sensor and actuator communications in factory and process automation. On the one hand, performance requirements differ and, on the other hand, the standardised protocols for HART sensors and actuators (for process automation) and IO-Link (for manufacturing automation) are optimised to meet their respective requirements. WirelessHART uses radio technology compliant with the IEEE 802.15.4 standard. Due to the higher requirements regarding response time, radio technology compliant with IEEE 802.15.1 will be used for factory automation.

PI decided to use WirelessHART as the standard for process automation one year ago. To be able to offer an optimum system for factory automation, PI decided to develop the specification for wireless sensors and actuators for factory automation based on WISA technology (IEEE 802.15.1).

The question of coexistence is especially important. In addition to coexistence with WirelessHART, it must also be guaranteed alongside WLAN, the standard for wireless transmission in Profinet systems. This will be ensured by making corresponding settings in the wireless sensor networks for process and factory automation.

A process has begun for specifying the work required to establish a protocol for wireless communications with sensors and actuators in factory automation. The target for completion of the corresponding documents is 2009.

Alternative and integrated uses of wireless technologies for process automation (IEEE 802.15.4) and factory automation are being left open for the future by PI.

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