Quick and Easy PROFIBUS Analysis
Get the results within seconds and the topology during running production without feedback, says Christian Wiesel.
To find a suitable starting point for the measurement by analysing the plant structure on their own.
Even though the amount of Ethernet-based networks in automation technology is constantly growing, PROFIBUS is still very often used for connecting sensors and actuators with a central controller. According to official statistics from the automation community PROFIBUS & PROFINET International (PI), 58.4 million PROFIBUS nodes were installed around the world by the end of 2017.
Many of those PROFIBUS networks have been installed several years ago, are still running and most important, have to perform trouble-free in the upcoming years. Essential condition for this is smooth communication between devices, machines and systems. However, once acceptance test and commissioning have been passed, the quality check is frequently neglected – in most cases due to a lack of time and expected effort. Nevertheless, no one will deny the reward of a condition-based maintenance: a continuous production and no unexpected standstills of machines and plants.
To solve this dilemma, Indu-Sol has developed the PROFIBUS tester PB-QONE. The measurement and diagnostic tool unites the possibility of a quick and easy physical and logical fieldbus analysis. The unique feature is the fully automated topology determination during running production completely without feedback. Usually topology plans are recorded when planning a PROFIBUS network. However, often the plans vanish into a drawer and are not kept up-to-date. Changes in the bus structure ? conversions or additions ? are therefore missing in the documentation. In the case a quality analysis is required, technicians start to search for the plans or have to find a suitable starting point for the measurement by analysing the plant structure on their own.
These time-consuming processes can be avoided with the PB-QONE. The handling is very simple: First, you perform measurements at the beginning and end of the PROFIBUS system – Plug-in, Measure, Result. The menu guides you through the following steps. As a result, the PB-QONE records the actual wiring of all network devices and even identifies repeaters, measuring points, and the cable lengths between the devices. Measuring points and segment structures are visible at a glance in the graphical display.
Besides the topology determination, the PB-QONE offers a full evaluation of the physical condition and communication of the fieldbus within seconds. During troubleshooting it can be quickly determined whether the cause is in the bus system itself, and if so, exactly locate where it is. Why these functions are especially important for PROFIBUS can easily be recognised by a short look on the statistic in Figure 3.
It shows the results of the measurement calls from 2017 of Indu-Sol measurement engineers who are on the road a few hundred times a year all across the world to check the quality of the data communication in the production networks of clients from all kind of industries. In almost every second of the 547 cases, the main reason for a bad communication quality was related to fieldbus issues. The majority of those measurement calls were trouble shootings or – in other words – unplanned calls. Regular inspections or a permanent network monitoring (PNM) of the plants could have avoided such ‘SOS-calls’.
To see how the topology determination with the PB-QONE works and what diagnostic results it provides, watch the user video to learn more about the PROFIBUS tester’s simple operation and how uncomplicated measurements can be! Just scan the QR-Code and enjoy the most advanced PROFIBUS tester.
Reliable and trouble-free communication in industrial data networks is a guarantee for continuous production. As a vendor-neutral technology provider serving various industries, Indu-Sol has made it a mission to objectively evaluate data communication quality and stability. The company develops and sells tools for commissioning, maintaining and servicing communication buses and offers intelligent solutions for predictive maintenance.
(Indu-Sol is represented in India by Utthunga Technologies Pvt Ltd, Bengaluru)
Figure 1: Complicated, incomprehensible tables and diagrams were yesterday! With the PROFIBUS tester PB-QONE, you get precise measuring results within seconds which can be easily evaluated thanks to the graphic display based on the traffic-light principle. As an example, the picture on the left shows the displayed quality values per device at a glance.
Figure 2a & b: The PB-QONE offers a fully automated topology determination (2a) during running production that is completely without feedback. It also records the actual wiring of all network devices and even identifies repeaters, measuring points and the cable lengths (2b) between the devices.
Figure 3a & b: Indu-Sol’s VORTEX Report summarises the findings of all measurement calls from one year. The figure shows the sample of reasons why customers requested an inspection of their network from Indu-Sol and their shares.
He is Marketing, Indu-Sol GmbH. With more than 16 years of network planning, commissioning and service experience, Indu-Sol has earned a reputation as a "network specialist" and leader in its segment. Email: Christian.Wiesel@indu-sol.com