Fieldbus storm passes ­ now let the market decide

Assembly Automation

ISSN: 0144-5154

Article publication date: 1 March 1999




(1999), "Fieldbus storm passes ­ now let the market decide", Assembly Automation, Vol. 19 No. 1.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 1999, MCB UP Limited

Fieldbus storm passes ­ now let the market decide

Fieldbus storm passes ­ now let the market decide

Nothing changes as automation suppliers confirm support for PROFIBUS

Keyword Fieldbus

Major fieldbus equipment vendors in factory automation and process control have confirmed their commitment to PROFIBUS following news that the IEC 61158 FDIS documents have received a "no" vote.

PROFIBUS International, the umbrella organization representing 20 worldwide PROFIBUS user groups and more than 800 member companies, says that ongoing commitment to PROFIBUS is total. PR director Geoff Hodgkinson said :"PROFIBUS International remains one of the strongest supporters of international standardization, but we had deep concerns about the quality of the IEC 61158 documents. With the exception of the physical layer, which is used by PROFIBUS and other fieldbuses, we always felt that IEC 61158 had lost its way. This vote gives the IEC the chance to reconsider its strategy and implement the recommendations of sector board 3, which include standardizing interfaces, and turning the documents into a technical report, allowing time for more work.

"In the marketplace, nothing will change. Fully-tested and internationally-recognized fieldbus technologies will become even more successful. PROFIBUS had 2 million field devices in over 200,000 worldwide applications by June 1998, an installed base worth in excess of $4.5 billion. Our latest electronic product guide includes 1,616 PROFIBUS products and services from more than 200 member companies ( Nothing can stop the momentum of established technologies. Let the market decide!"

Major global vendors who have confirmed their support for PROFIBUS include Bosch, whose president, Division Automation Technology, Fred-Holger Günther, said: "PROFIBUS is a key part of our long-term strategy. It meets users' needs today and is well proven. We will continue to make, supply and support PROFIBUS products".

Klockner Moeller executive vice president and CTO Paul Wey said: "We will continue to work with PROFIBUS because of its widespread acceptance in the market. Therefore, we are going to generally and consistently integrate PROFIBUS into our product range and into our software systems. We will follow market demands and stick to our current paths."

Klaus Wucherer, president of Siemens Automation and Drives, said: "We have been pursuing with great dedication the aim of popularizing open digital fieldbus technology and its further development to the advantage of users. We will continue to ensure that standardization promotes, not hinders, free international trade. The 800 PROFIBUS member companies ­ 125 in the USA alone ­ today represent the success of the proven PROFIBUS communications standard in innumerable applications of production and process control. PROFIBUS will stay an important enabling technology for us because it offers real and proven benefits".

In process automation, instrumentation suppliers such as Samson, Burkert, Endress+Hauser, Pepperl+Fuchs and Krohne believe that PROFIBUS has a key strategic role to play in the process industries. The success of PROFIBUS in this market has been outstanding as end users seek the benefits of a proven, interoperable fieldbus today. PROFIBUS is unique in providing a fully integrated solution for factory automation and process automation, including compliance with the IEC 61158-2 physical layer.

It is significant that CENELEC standards are undergoing continuous development, since this is to the benefit of the end user. PROFIBUS, WorldFIP and P-Net are part of CENELEC EN 50170. It is a major goal of CENELEC to evolve standards for the benefit of end users and CENELEC is preparing to add ControlNet and Foundation Fieldbus to EN 50170 as a result of this policy.

For further information contact: Bob Squirrell, The Profibus Group, 1 West Street, Titchfield, Hants PO14 4DH, UK. Tel +44 (0) 1329 843043; Fax: +44 (0) 1329 846166. Internet:; World Wide Web:

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