More Than Meets the PI – PROFINET Certification

Profinet Certification

Engineers want to develop, design, and code.  Making new things work is our version of fun.  Surprising to many, there are engineers that exist that do not like processes.  Perhaps you work with engineers that do not have release processes, but the code sometimes escapes and plunders the countryside.  There is an old (relatively speaking) engineering saying, “If you’re not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.”

One thing that most engineers don’t like to do is testing.  When an engineer tests, they will either rush the product through or end up in a refactoring spiral.  For a company trying to release products that function and move onto additional R&D, the enemy of “good enough” is better.

One of the final steps of most product launches is certification.  Amongst other definitions, Merriam-Webster defines certification as “to recognize as having met special qualifications (as of a governmental agency or professional board) within a field.”  However, in the engineering product world, what do most certifications actually mean?

Your product isn’t likely to kill or maim someone (when used properly). It is energy efficient in its own category, despite being a gas-powered alarm clock.

Having these certifications are great, but it does not mean your product is good.  It does not mean your product will work.  It is a “me too” of the marketing world.  It’s a sales talking point.  In today’s day and age, “me too” is not a differentiator.

This changes with PROFINET Certification, performed at a PROFI Interface Center (PIC) lab.  With the certification, you have a mark that is the closest thing to saying you have a good product.  The PROFINET certification is a test suite that not only cares that your system talks PROFINET properly, but it tests a lot of additional cases that are important to have a good product.

  • Does your IP stack handle improperly sized IP packets properly?
  • Does your system have jitter (time between produced cyclic packets) that is within the specification requirements?  Too much jitter is unacceptable.
  • Can your system survive a Denial of Service attack and recover without requiring a power cycle?

The requirement for a PROFINET device is YES to all the above questions. One thing that is good about the PROFINET Certification test is that once you have certification, your product is probably better than it was before you integrated PROFINET. Be sure to check out Real Time Automation’s PROFINET products, solutions, and articles across our website.

To learn more about PROFINET CBA, click here.

To learn more about PROFINET IO, click here.