The 2009 Profibus and Profinet User Conference in June will once again bring together approaching 100 project and control instrumentation engineers to exchange experiences with colleagues in the industry who are involved with Profibus and Profinet installations.
A two-day programme of parallel conference presentations, hands-on practical sessions and the exhibition mean that this event is a 'must' for anyone involved in, or thinking about, fieldbus, intelligent instrumentation and actuation, or networked control systems applications.
Indeed, with rapid acceptance in many industries worldwide, Profibus is claimed to be quoted as the specified protocol for future projects in most of the UK water companies, as well as in several other discrete manufacturing and process plants. In most cases, new and refurbishment projects will be Profibus-based, and there is a need to enable instrument technicians/engineers, C&I engineers and system engineers involved in design, operations and maintenance, to benefit through early exposure to the systems that will be implemented on their plants.
A particularly useful aspect of the format adopted for this conference is the separated stream of workshops, providing an emphasis on live demonstrations and hands-on experience of the products in action, using the actual tools now available for calibration and maintenance.
For 2009 the workshop sessions will again be led by Andy Verwer, Principal Lecturer at the Manchester Metropolitan University Department of Engineering and Technology within the Faculty of Science and Engineering; Verwer is also responsible for the Profibus Competence Centre at MMU, which offers an extensive range of Profibus consultancy and training services, including Certified Profibus Engineer and Certified Profibus Installer, a course that was designed at the University. With help from Scott Davis of Davis Control Solutions, the first two workshop sessions will cover Profibus installation, and Profibus fault finding and field diagnostics.
From Procentec and the Profibus Centre in The Netherlands, Ing Dennis van Booma will present a hands-on workshop using a Profinet handheld tester and software tools. During this session the participants can experiment with the available tools that are required for Profinet installation and engineering.
Equipment suppliers will attend the exhibition associated with the conference and also present their own approach to the use of process automation engineering tools in a joint hands-on session with Mark McCormick of Siemens and Andy Smith of Endress+Hauser. Then, as a major user of their equipment, Mark Cargill, a Certified Profibus Engineer and also Principal Electrical Engineer at Enpure, the water and wastewater industry contractor, will conduct a 'Multi-vendor Challenge' where the vendors themselves will be required to hook up their equipment to a Profibus network, in real time in front of the audience.
The workshops provide an excellent opportunity for engineers to learn in practical situations, and ask the questions that arise in an informal discussion atmosphere; it has created one of the most useful aspects of the user meeting for many delegates. Last year typical delegate comments ranged from "Good insight for a person with limited knowledge of subjects covered, excellent workshop/primer sessions, useful exhibition. Will come again!" to a more detailed comment from Graham Campbell, Electrical/PC Development Manager at Lafarge Cement: "Our installations of Profibus were designed and installed by two organisations as part of a complete control system replacement, and it is really only as a consequence of attending the conference that we realised how many errors they made. We had also made the mistake of not researching the 'do's and don'ts' of Profibus prior to letting contracts. The practical demonstrations are good for both total novices and those with limited experience on Profibus."
The Profibus and Profinet User Conference in June 2009 will provide many users with the opportunity to bring new staff to benefit from the workshops and technology updates, as well as being invaluable for new visitors considering their first projects.
Full details of the Conference are at www.profi-bus.co.uk.