On courses and events organized by the Competence Center, we noticed that many end customers had insufficient knowledge about their own Profibus and Profinet installations.
Profibus and Profinet are rugged systems, and this feature allows them to be in operation even after design and deployment faults. Nevertheless, these faults can be a source of problems after months or years, when the warranty period has expired or contacting the installer can be difficult.
With the time, all networks suffer a degradation that eventually can impact its optimal operation: the system components fail, particularly in some industries where the environment can be adverse. For this reason the personnel must be skilled to diagnose errors, and this is crucial to shorten donwtimes. However, if the installation has been certified, these problems will take longer to appear.
In order to minimize risks, the installation must be certified by a certified engineer.
Advantages of certification. Which processes does it help to improve?
Many integrators and end customers don’t pay attention, during the installation delivery, to some issues that should be a must to accept the installation:
- Delivery of the relevant documentation about the installation, including:
- Its components.
- References and location of the components.
- References of cables and connectors.
- Layout of the real wiring with cable lengths.
- Location of end-of-line resistors.
- Component configuration files.
- Checking of information delivered: the deployment has to follow the “Profibus Installation Guideline” considering ground connections, distances, type of connectors, type of cables…
- Installation testing: Integrators and end users should follow a procedure to check communications when problems arise. This installation revision and diagnostics procedure should be defined earlier for the installation and it’s one of the key points you learn on certificate courses at the Logitek Competence Center. The procedure should include, at least, the following elements:
- Communication frame analysis to detect possible configuration and parametrization faults.
- Electric signal visualization in the installation to detect possible cabling faults and induced noises.
- Confirmation of cabling measures with a test tool, in order to verify that theoretical cabling measures match those calculated and accomplish the standard.
These tests are advisable to be made by someone independent from the integrator or the end customer, so is able to provide an external view of the installation; provided that this professional has the suitable knowledge and tools for this purpose.
The Logitek Competence Center performs these tests, certifies whether the installation is correctly implemented or indicates to the installer the deficiencies found. The delivered certification is guaranteed by a “PI Certified Expert” seal since it is carried out by the International Profibus/Profinet association.
Considering the different users, we can mention more advantages for certification:
- For the end users (certification required to providers):
- Increases the quality and lifetime of the installations.
- Reduces maintenance costs.
- Allows the providers to be selected upon objective criteria.
- For the end users (training their own staff):
- Reduces maintenance costs since they have the skilled staff to detect system errors.
- For system integrators/engineering offices:
- Differentiation from the competitors, with the right to use the logo for certified companies – on the website, offers, business cards, etc.
- Raise productivity and project quality.
- Ability to design/implement projects according to standards.
Click here (Spanish) to learn about our Profibus-Profinet specialized training scheduled for 2015 at the Logitek Competence Center.