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PI North America holds first U.S.-based PROFINET plugfest

Aug. 10, 2016
Thirty-five engineers from 13 different companies brought six controllers and 30 I/O devices to the plugfest.

PI North America, in cooperation with the PROFI Interface Center, created its first North American PROFINET plugfest, which was hosted last week by Phoenix Contact in Ann Arbor, Mich.

Thirty-five engineers from 13 different companies brought six controllers and 30 I/O devices to the plugfest. Participating companies included Balluff, Cisco, Hilscher, Innovasic, Molex, Mynah, Phoenix Contact, ProSoft, Siemens, Teledyne DALSA, TR Electronic, Turck, Yaskawa and Lapp USA.

All PROFINET products must be certified in accredited test labs, but plugfest provided the opportunity to evaluate products in a large network. Some of the products were nearing completion, so plugfest provided a chance to evaluate them before formal testing. Testing was carried out in small groups around individual controllers with the devices circulating among the various controllers prior to creating one large network.

“Plugfests are a great way to find out how your products perform with lots of other controllers and devices," said Tom Weingartner of Innovasic, Inc.  Weingartner has previously attended a number of plugfests in Europe. "We appreciate the opportunity to continuously improve our products and participate in such a well-attended event here in the U.S. – as always we learned a lot.”

The I/O devices were varied, including VFDs and servo drives. Edward Tom of Yaskawa America, Inc. noted the event was “a great place for so many different device manufacturers to come together with one goal in mind ─ interoperability.  It's not often you can talk to a counterpart of a different company and collaborate to figure things out.”

A PROFINET Plugfest will be scheduled for 2017.

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