The standard for Industrial Ethernet

Benefit from increased productivity thanks to open communication standards.



  • Device types and description

    PROFINET works with various device types and conformance classes to ensure seamless interaction in the network.

  • Data exchange

    As an Ethernet-based fieldbus system, PROFINET exchanges data using a consumer/provider model.

  • Diagnostic mechanisms

    As an Ethernet-based fieldbus system, PROFINET offers numerous useful diagnostic mechanisms.

  • Device replacement

    It is easy to replace the devices in a PROFINET network – a new device is automatically assigned a new name.

  • PROFINET profiles

    The PROFINET profiles control the behavior of automation devices and systems in relation to Functional Safety, drive technology, and energy management.


Increase productivity with PROFINET

PROFINET is suitable for non-proprietary and international use. Due to open network structures, existing automation systems can be easily integrated. PROFINET uses open standards of communication and information technology.

Since a standard Ethernet frame is transmitted, it is also possible for devices without a PROFINET interface to be integrated into the system. PROFINET is ideally suited to the vertical integration of company processes and maximum utilization of productivity potential in production companies.

What PROFINET offers

PROFINET is a real-time Ethernet protocol that is used in all areas of industry: from motion control and factory automation to process technology. The three available communication channels are adapted to the requirements of different device classes and applications and can be implemented in parallel with the same network or device: standard channel (TCP/IP, UDP/IP), real-time channel RT (Real Time), and synchronous real-time channel IRT (Isochronous Real Time).

PROFINET networks therefore offer many advantages:

  • High degree of flexibility with regard to performance
  • All network devices can be accessed as TCP/IP devices
  • Standard Ethernet components can be connected directly
  • Web servers and TCP/IP-based protocols can be used without additional effort while still offering adequate levels of performance
  • Functional safety can be integrated by means of PROFIsafe
  • Optimum interaction between standard Ethernet and real-time Ethernet via PROFINET

PROFINET networks are particularly flexible. You can therefore implement various requirements easily and more cost-effectively.

  • Star, line, and ring structures can also be implemented as hybrid structures
  • Communication via existing copper cable networks
  • Use of fiber optic technology which is not susceptible to electromagnetic interference – ideal for large network coverage
  • Redundancy concepts for reliable communication in the event of an error
  • Wireless data transmission via WLAN and Bluetooth

PROFINET offers non-proprietary, combined network and device diagnostics. In addition to the diagnostic mechanisms of PROFINET, other standards such as SNMP and HTTP can be used for network diagnostics and web-based device diagnostics. While UDP/IP and DCP are used to establish a connection to the components, devices are addressed using device names. Time synchronization corresponds to international standard IEC 61588.

In addition, integrated topology detection enables error locations to be pinpointed quickly. PROFINET therefore offers a modular diagnostic concept and maximum availability for your system.

In addition to real-time-capable I/O data and TCP/IP-based communication, PROFINET networks also support safety-related communication according to EN ISO 13849-1 and IEC 61508 via the network. Communication is safeguarded by the PROFIsafe protocol between safety controller and I/O device. Light grids and other safety mechanisms can be coupled to the network directly.

Outputs, e.g., drives, are shut down safely. Safe and standard communication can be used together in a single device.

PROFINET technology is very much embedded in the established non-proprietary specification processes of the PROFINET User Organization (PNO).

The PNO draws up and updates open specifications for actual communication, installation guidelines, and connector definitions, as well as certification procedures and user profiles.

The devices are tested and allocated to various conformance classes in test and certification centers.


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