As in past years, PI (PROFIBUS & PROFINET International) has initiated a certified count of devices used in the market. The returned figures show that in 2013 the trend of strong growth for PROFINET and PROFIsafe continued while PROFIBUS maintained its very high level.
There were 3.6 million new PROFIBUS nodes in the market in 2013. This increased the number of installed PROFIBUS devices to over 47.4 million. Of these, 8.2 million are incorporated in process automation plants. With a growth rate of newly added nodes of 20 per cent, the number of PROFINET devices installed now stands at over 7.6 million. Particularly pleasing was the above-average growth rate of PROFIsafe of 33 per cent, bringing the total number of installed devices now to 2.95 million.
The trend of strong growth shared by PROFINET and PROFIsafe is not a coincidence. PROFINET is well established in the market and is currently playing a role in many industry sectors, such as the automotive industry. Many users are also taking advantage of the switch to Ethernet-based communication in order to implement functional safety via a bus system. That is why a disproportionately high number of PROFINET devices delivered today also include PROFIsafe functionality. Users are also benefiting from the fact that existing PROFIsafe installations with PROFIBUS can continue to be used. PROFIsafe operates independent of the fieldbus and can be used across network boundaries. The future-proof nature of PROFIsafe and its technical capabilities and features make it the market leader among fail-safe bus systems.