PROFINET profiles

The PROFINET profiles control the behavior of automation devices and systems in relation to features such as Functional Safety, drive technology, and energy management. The profiles are developed in PROFIBUS and PROFINET International (PI) working groups in order to ensure the openness, interoperability, and interchangeability of devices.


PROFIsafe, the safe communication profile for PROFINET

PROFIsafe is a secure, certified communication profile for Functional Safety applications based on PROFIBUS and PROFINET. PROFIsafe describes secure data communication, aiming at increased functionality in Functional Safety applications.

At the same time, installation expense is reduced and maximum interoperability and interchangeability of devices with safety functions is guaranteed.

PROFIsafe is designed to use the standard PROFINET network infrastructure for secure data transfer. This enables the coexistence of secure and non-secure data traffic, which simplifies system design and reduces costs. WLAN data transfer is also possible.

The PROFIsafe protocol can be used in safety-related applications up to SIL 3 according to IEC 61508/IEC 62061, safety category 4 according to EN 954-1 or PL e according to ISO 13849-1.



PROFIdrive, the device profile for drive devices

PROFIdrive is the modular standard profile for drive technology on PROFIBUS and PROFINET. The profile describes mandatory properties for drives and encoders, aiming at the interoperability and interchangeability of devices in PROFIBUS and PROFINET applications.

PROFIdrive defines six application classes for drives for practically all requirements in drive automation. It guarantees simple and coherent coupling of drives in all automation applications.

PROFIdrive application classes
Based on its wide application potential, six application classes have been defined for PROFIdrive based on functional contents. A drive device can support one or more classes.

  • Application class 1
    Standard drive with speed control, e.g., frequency inverter
  • Application class 2
    As application class 1, but with extra functionality (technology functions)
  • Application class 3
    Servo drive with speed, position control, and profile generator, e.g., single-axis positioning drive
  • Application class 4/5
    Servo drives for central motion control with several axes (motion control, computerized numerical control, robotics)
  • Application class 6
    Servo drives for decentralized automation (electronic gears, cam discs)

Application classes 1 to 3 can be implemented with PROFINET RT. From application class 4, isochronous file transfer with PROFINET IRT is mandatory.

Multi Profile Drive
Ever-increasing application requirements mean that modern drive devices need to add new functions such as safety technology and energy management to their traditional drive functions. This will turn them into a platform for drive-related automation functions. As a result, the general PROFIsafe and PROFIenergy profiles will be implemented in future in order to meet these new requirements.



PROFIenergy is a general device profile designed for energy management applications in production systems.

PROFIenergy provides a PROFINET-based device interface via which the energy consumption of machinery and systems can be controlled with PROFINET with the help of higher-level systems. The primary focus in this case is the energy savings potential during breaks and non-productive phases.

PROFIenergy has been initiated by the German automotive manufacturers' automation initiative (AIDA) organized by Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Porsche, and VW. In relation to this, the newly formed working group in the PROFINET user organization (PNO) published the PROFIenergy specification at the end of 2009. PROFIenergy will be increasingly integrated into modern automation devices.

PROFIenergy uses the acyclic PROFINET services to transfer the standardized commands which have been tailored to the following application cases:

  • Short breaks
  • Long breaks
  • Unplanned breaks
  • Measurement and visualization of energy consumption


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