The Siemens Industry Automation Division has equipped the mainboards of its rugged industrial PC family with a Profinet interface. Designed as a three-port switch, this supports isochronous real time and integrates the Siemens PC into Profinet networks. The controller architecture is based on the standard Profinet Asic Ertec 400 with which integrated, real-time-enabled communication can be implemented from the corporate management level right down to the process. It also enables simultaneous real-time and IT communication on one line using TCP/IP, for example.
The Profinet interface integrated on the mainboard relieves the PC processor of communication tasks and thus increases PC system performance. This also saves a slot, making it available for other PC expansion cards. The three Profinet ports allow flexible and simple establishment of linear or ring topologies, and they are used for connecting PLCs, distributed I/O, or drives to the PC. Alternatively, with real time communication (RT) the ports can be used as standard Windows interfaces for TCP/IP communication, for example, or for visualization tasks with Simatic WinCC flexible. The new version of the software PLC WinAC RTX 2008 already uses the new communication facilities of the onboard interface. The network topology is conveniently configured with Step 7 or NCM-PC.
Electromagnetically compatible, rugged industrial connectors with standard RJ45 connection system and cable grips prevent the connections becoming loose under vibration, thus avoiding the costly troubleshooting and fault correction involved in stoppages. The simple FastConnect system is used for rapid preparation of the cable direct onsite. Two status LEDs on each port and a Profinet group fault LED provide support at startup and during fault diagnostics.