Catching the Process Fieldbus: An Introduction to Profibus and Profinet for Process AutomationCatching the Process Fieldbus: An Introduction to Profibus and Profinet for Process Automation by James Powell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Dear Readers,

as the end of the year approaches, it is a good time to read something not overly complicated, but still within the field of professional interest. For me this was a brief book about Profibus and Profinet, namely Catching the Process Fieldbus from James Powell. Let’s see what it was like:

I chose this book because I wanted to read something about Profibus and Profinet from a process automation perspective. As any technical book, it starts with discussing the basics, mainly what these fieldbuses are, how they operate, what are the differences between the three of them (DP, PA and Net) and so on. The scope of these discussions are enough to gain a fair understanding of these technologies, but don’t expect any in-depth explanations, for which there seems to be a good reason (see a bit later).

After having the basics dealt with, the author moves on to day-to-day engineering type of topics, like installation, commissioning, maintenance, troubleshooting or even designing an actual Profi-based fieldbus for an industrial application. Such a choice of topics is really welcome, as now the reader basically has a nicely compiled list of things to do and look out for, when working on projects involving these fieldbus technologies. Moreover, the author also included some real-world examples to demonstrate how some of the aforementioned activities are actually done and with what tools (both software and hardware).

It is also worth mentioning, that this book leans towards process automation quite heavily, so topics generally involving manufacturing, like application of RT or IRT capabilities, Profidrive, Profienergy, etc. is pretty much omitted, though the author stated as much right at the beginning.

All in all, the just-enough technical explanations and a heavy emphasis on daily engineering related topics makes this book an excellent choice for people who just need a quick guide to start working on Profi-based problems and projects in the process automation field, though the reader shouldn’t expect to gain a deep understanding of any of these technologies. For that, other resources will need to be used, just as the author recommends at the very end of the book.

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