The Smart Way to Industry 4.0 with PI UK

PI UK is part of PROFIBUS & PROFINET International (PI), the largest automation community in the world responsible for PROFIBUS, PROFINET, IO-Link and omlox, the four most important enabling technologies in automation today, with PROFINET and IO-Link described by many organisations as making up the backbone of Industry 4.0.

Established in Germany in 1989 by a group of leading equipment manufacturers and technical universities, the organisation had the goal of helping German industry automate as many production processes as possible and link them effectively to IT management systems. PI UK was set up in 1993 in order to bring these technologies and related products to the UK.

Working closely with the Automation Industry

PI works closely with other automation organisations to develop and enhance international standards that improve productivity while keeping energy consumption and waste to an absolute minimum. They manage and monitor the certification process for testing products and training installers, designers and engineers.

Serving an exceptionally wide range of industries, including energy management, pulp and paper, chemical, utilities, pharmaceutical, food and drink, and numerous others, PI’s technologies bring substantial benefits to an astounding number of companies. One example is Coca-Cola; since 2011, Coca-Cola has been using PROFIBUS DP to manage their entire production line in their Mannheim, Germany production plant, from the bottle washer, to filler, to labeller, and to packer.

Another is Audi’s combined use of PROFINET and OPC UA to enable highly practical predictive maintenance to access data which could point out a flaw and process it swiftly to avoid unplanned downtimes.

Another example is General Electric; GE employs PROFINET in its power generation businesses to monitor and produce electricity for utilities and their customers around the world. Finally, Shell achieved cost savings of 50% during the installation of its Hamburg, Germany plant due to using PROFIBUS to minimise wiring and hardware. It currently blends 350,000 tons of oil per year using PROFIBUS PA.

Many more examples of how PROFIBUS and PROFINET are being used to save energy, cost and other resources can be found on the PI website at:

Energy-saving, sustainable technology

A particularly interesting innovation is PI’s PROFIenergy Profile, developed to help automation users minimise energy consumption, cut costs and comply with increasingly stringent ‘green’ obligations. Existing methods are often crude, expensive and hard to manage, such as switching off equipment manually or installing semi-automated shut-down systems. This is where PROFIenergy comes in; the Profile enables control devices, such as PLCs, to send commands to Energy Consuming Units (ECU) to signal pauses, like lunch breaks, holidays, random line stoppages or peak lead conditions. On receipt of PROFIenergy commands, the software ‘agents’ in the ECU firmware initiate pre-defined ‘sleep’ modes for the duration of the pause.

Training Events & Opportunities

Constantly looking for ways to benefit the industry, PI UK regularly presents free-to-attend training events which pay close attention to Industry 4.0 and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). These events address key practical issues arising from the use of digital communication technologies in automated manufacturing and process industry applications, covering key application areas such as control systems and energy management, pulp and paper, chemical, utilities, pharmaceutical, mechanical handling and logistics, robotics, automotive engineering, electrical and electronics assembly, packaging and printing. Focusing on the practical aspects of using PROFINET, PROFIBUS and IO-Link, from system design and safety considerations through to fault-finding and maintenance, they are unmissable events offering valuable training opportunities. More information and registration at:

Birmingham, 27 April 2021

Glasgow, 26 May 2021

Belfast, TBA 2021

Network design for Process Industries

Some of the presentations includ PROFIBUS network design for process industries, the fundamental principles of good network design for PROFINET systems, industrial network commissioning and testing, PROFIBUS and PROFINET device configuration tools, and finally an explanation of the Industrial Internet of Things, Industry 4.0 and Big Data, and how PROFINET is placed as the ideal Industrial Fieldbus to fulfil these.

In addition to these presentations, the events will also host an exhibition with live product demonstrations, providing an excellent opportunity for designers, production/system engineers, instrument technicians/engineers and C&I engineers who are involved in the design, operation and maintenance of modern automated factories and process plant to get “hands-on” with real products.

PI UK has a busy calendar of exciting and regional events and webinars, unmissable opportunities for an extensive range of companies. To ensure people don’t miss out on the next event, PI UK is encouraging people to register on their mailing list to be among the first to be informed of future opportunities and seminars, via this link:

Certified Training Programme

PI UK supports training courses run by Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) and Control Specialists Ltd (CSL). Both organisations are PI Training Centres (PITCs), authorised by PROFIBUS & PROFINET International to deliver certified courses leading to internationally-recognised PROFIBUS or PROFINET accreditation. The courses cover everything needed to guide installers, designers and engineers in the successful implementation of their PROFIBUS and PROFINET projects. More about these training courses can be found here:

Membership Benefits

As well as the provision of top class training opportunities, PI UK offers five different levels of membership to cover a wide range of requirements for users of the technologies through to manufacturers of the products, systems and software that enable the development of smart systems, factories and process plant. Depending on the level of membership selected, there is also free access to patented IP related to PI’s technology, which is of significant benefit to any company wishing to manufacture PROFIBUS, PROFINET, IO-LINK or omlox compatible products. PI offers a wealth of advantages for its members, including free access to all PROFIBUS, PROFINET, IO-Link and omlox documentation, discounts on training, participation in events and much more. For more information on becoming a member and its full range of benefits, head to this page:

Looking to the future, PI is continuing to develop and deliver industrial standards that will help manufacturing and process industries meet and exceed their productivity and sustainability targets. Indeed, with over 100 million nodes installed worldwide, PI is a market leader in providing state of the art digital communications, expertly addressing all their customers’ needs – at plant level, in the Cloud or at the Edge.

For more information on their full range of services, head to their websites at or

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