How to Analyse PROFIBUS Networks
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A FUNCTIONAL PRODUCTION LINE, BUT NOT ALWAYS PERFECTLY HEALTHY NETWORK COMMUNICATION

PROFIBUS networks feature high robustness. Even when minor problems are accumulating on the network, the communication continues undisturbed, without exhibiting any visible symptoms.

This may be tricky – when, eventually, the production line fails, you will address only one of the causes of the failure, while the others will go unnoticed. It is thus essential that your networks receive regular maintenance and problems detected get solved before they take their toll.

When to Analyse Industrial Networks

Checks on your industrial communications should be part and parcel of your regular preventive maintenance. You should, nevertheless, also have your networks analysed or permanently monitored if you:

  • Are experiencing communication failures
  • Want to prevent unexpected failures and unplanned downtime
  • Carry out regular preventive maintenance and would like to gain a deep insight into your networks' health
  • Want to assess the quality of your suppliers' or employees' work
  • Are a production line supplier and need to provide a customer with a report documenting that the network delivered by you is completely healthy

How to Go About It

One-off diagnosis

When analysing PROFIBUS (or CANbus or DeviceNET), we mainly check the quality / health of the cabling, wiring and connectors, active termination settings, the impact of electromagnetic interference, network topology, node power supply and more. For that, you need to 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 electromagnetic interference, incorrect segment termination, communication faults, duplicate IP addresses and more.

      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.


    Continuous monitoring

    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 ComBricks modular 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 a 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 station lost, syncs, repeats, the sequence of repeats, corrupted messages, protocol faults, configuration and parameter faults and more.

    Learn how to take a better care of your networks

    Would you like to get a deeper insight into your networks? Sign up for our training. You will learn how to build, analyse and revitalise PROFIBUS networks.

    Need help with your networks?

    Leave it up to us! Our qualified technicians have analysed over 3,500 industrial networks and will be happy to share their knowledge with you. We will carry out diagnostics of your PROFIBUS / CANbus / DeviceNET / ASi networks, provide you with detailed test reports and propose options for dealing with problems detected.

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