PROFIBUS networks feature high robustness. Even when minor problems are accumulating on the network, the communication continues undisturbed, without exhibiting any visible symptoms.
This could be tricky – when, eventually, the production line fails, you may address only one of the causes of the failure, while the others may go unnoticed. It is thus essential that your networks receive regular maintenance and problems detected get solved before they take their toll.
PROFIBUS networks are becoming obsolete but not extinct. If you regularly analyse, repair and modernise them, they will prove reliable for many years to come.
When to Analyse Industrial Networks
Checks on your industrial communication should be part and parcel of your regular preventive maintenance. You should, nevertheless, also have your networks analysed or permanently monitored if you:
We have been researching and monitoring PROFIBUS networks since 2010. Our experienced professionals have received training in many parts of the world. Today, we are proud that we can share our knowledge with our customers and provide first-class PROFIBUS training for them.
We have analysed thousands of PROFIBUS networks and tens of thousands of PROFIBUS stations, so we know how to monitor them as effectively as possible.
When commissioning a new network, our job is to determine if the network commissioning criteria for reliable networks outlined below have been met. This involves checking all the connections as well as the functionality of the network. In particular, we check/test:
You will get all the results in a PDF report, so you will gain a deep insight into the health of your network.
We recommend performing a preventive check on every network at least once a year. Even though your production line is running and the PLC is not reporting any faults, your network still may not be 100% healthy. This is not an uncommon situation. You, therefore, need to know as soon as possible if your network is not in top shape.
Networks must be analysed when they are in full operation. Otherwise, we are unable to detect any potential electromagnetic interference. If you would like us to analyse your network during production line downtime, we can only assess the condition of the cabling and the quality of the communication. We cannot identify any electromagnetic interference or its impact on the network.
After every analysis, we will prepare a PDF report for you.
We offer emergency diagnostics and repairs to any plant that is experiencing network failures and needs to deal with them immediately. Please call us as soon as you can. Only then are we able to rearrange our busy schedule and help you make your network 100% healthy again.
When it comes to key production lines, especially the ones running non-stop, every network failure means a substantial production loss. Repairs can take up to tens of hours.
With cleverly designed continuous network diagnostics, your production lines will be monitored 24/7. Your maintenance staff will be notified of any network problem, enabling them to deal with it in time. Without delay, you will order the necessary spare parts and arrange for repairs.
Remote network monitoring is designed for those who, for some reason, cannot or do not want to take care of their networks themselves. You and we agree on servicing conditions and sign a servicing contract. We equip your networks with analysers for continuous network diagnostics and Ewon routers for remote access.
Whenever a network problem occurs, the system will inform us via email. Using the Ewon router, we will remotely connect to the analyser and discover what is wrong. If the situation requires the physical presence of a FOXON technician, they will travel to your plant and solve the problem on-site.
Learn how to find faults on your PROFIBUS network and deal with them effectively. We will explain to you how PROFIBUS works and how to modernise it and make it more robust.
The PROFIBUS Basics and Diagnostics course is regularly delivered as part of our FOXON Academy training program.
When analysing PROFIBUS (or CANbus or DeviceNET), we mainly check the quality/health of cabling, wiring and connectors, active termination settings, the impact of electromagnetic interference, network topology, node power supply and more. For that, we use special tools that identify and localise network problems, as standard programs, such as the STEP7 and the TIA Portal, are not designed for this purpose.
For PROFIBUS network analysis, we recommend the ProfiTrace 2 tester. It allows you to detect:
If you are managing PROFINET and PROFIBUS networks, you will certainly benefit from the MERCURY industrial tablet, specifically designed for the analysis of both these network types. It is available in several different kits, featuring the same accessories as the ProfiTrace 2 kits. The MERCURY contains all the necessary connectors and pre-installed software for PROFINET and PROFIBUS diagnostics – in other words, all you need for comprehensive analysis.
Is unplanned downtime unacceptable to you? If you want to be warned of any problem immediately and have your networks under control 24/7, you should use continuous monitoring tools. You will have access to online data through user-friendly visualisations. And, if something out of the ordinary is about to happen, you will get an alert notification, for example via email. Your maintenance personnel will solve the problem in time, preventing a communication failure.
In our experience, the perfect tool for permanent PROFIBUS monitoring is the modular ComBricks system. Choose from three head stations and a variety of modules, depending on what functions you need. The ComBricks does not require any changes to the PLC program or permanent connection to a PC. As soon as you install it, it starts analysing your network. You can then remotely monitor its condition anytime, via a web browser.
The ComBricks detects such problems as:
Do you still use PROFIBUS communications on your factory floor? Then you need your networks to be reliable and failure-free. Their health does not only depend on the condition of individual components, but also on network topology and the way in which the components are connected and interconnected.
Network modernisation is not limited to repairs – it includes making networks more robust and well-organised. Fault finding and troubleshooting then become much more efficient.
Shorten and isolate your segments by installing multi-repeaters. We love to deploy ProfiHub multi-repeaters from the company PROCENTEC, as they offer outstanding galvanic segment isolation. This means that electromagnetic interference that occurs in one segment does not spread to other segments. Fault finding and troubleshooting thus become much easier.
ProfiHubs are fast to deploy, with no changes to the PLC program required.