PROFIBUS is the only field bus providing comprehensive coverage including both factory and process automation. PROFINET - based on standard ETHERNET - is its complementary network with growing demand during the past few years. Both protocols are specified in the communication profile family 3 in the International Standards IEC 61158 and IEC 61784-1/-2. One of the major events within the lifetime of the PROFIBUS and PROFINET International (PI) community was the first release of a specification for safety communication in 1999. It caused a quantum leap in possibilities in the world of automation. The name of this technology is PROFIsafe and its logo is shown below. Since this event, PROFIsafe has evolved to become the leading and most comprehensive safety communication technology in the world. PROFIsafe is now progressing toward becoming an International Standard within IEC 61784-3-3.
It is the objective of this web site to provide a thorough insight into the PROFIsafe technology and the related issues without becoming too engulfed in specific details. It is not meant to replace standards or the official specifications and guidelines mentioned below. Those are definitive and binding. PROFIsafe is approved by both the BGIA and TÜV.
Safety is a sensitive area of automation. Thus the dissemination, implementation, and deployment of PROFIsafe technology must be treated seriously. The companies and institutions involved are obligated to conduct themselves to the so-called PROFIsafe Policy. This short description is to serve as a complement to and a modest summary of the official sources. The abbreviation "F" in this document stands for "fail-safe", "functional safety", or just "safety related".