In order to achieve a co-ordinated and standardised approach for energy management, PI (Profibus & Profinet International) initiated development work on PROFIenergy in early 2009. The aim is not only to enable equipment to be switched off during idle times such as weekends, but also individual equipment, components or entire systems can be switched off during brief or unscheduled pauses. In addition the PROFIenergy profile defines the way energy values are measured, transmitted and formatted – which is important for active energy management.
Thanks to the active collaboration of various companies and universities, it was possible to conclude work on the PROFIenergy definition on schedule in January 2010. Device and system manufacturers developed the first products in time to display them at the Hanover Fair 2010. This was possible because of the ability to quickly and easily implement PROFIenergy into existing devices without adverse effects. Furthermore, users have already begun to integrate PROFIenergy into their plants.
According to PI, a typical robot cell may consume up to 60 per cent of its normal operating energy requirement even when it is idle at a weekend, so the potential energy savings available by switching off unused equipment are substantial. Compared with the traditional alternatives of using additional equipment and proprietary automated shut-down procedures, or following defined operating procedures for manual shut-downs, PROFIenergy is easier and simpler to implement (and retrofit), plus it is less error-prone.
PI is supporting the dissemination of PROFIenergy through multiple activities. It is offering a White Paper entitled, The PROFIenergy Profile, which provides a comprehensive overview of the new energy-savings profile, its mode of operation, advantages, and savings potential, as well as a description of use cases. The new publication is available for download free of charge at www.profibus.com/downloads.