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Direct interfacing of the devices in the field, especially in the hazardous area, together with the information content of the communication, are of significant importance in the process industry. PROFIBUS PA, which permits both digital data transmission and the power supply on a two-wire line with the intrinsically-safe MBP transmission technology (Manchester Coded; Bus Powered) is tailored to these requirements. It is optimally suitable for direct integration of solenoid valves, sensors, and pneumatic actuators positioned in operating environments up to Ex zone 1/21 or 0/20 into the process control system.

The typical response time of a transmitter of approx. 10 ms indicates that short cycle times can be achieved with the PROFIBUS PA even in the case of a segment configuration with up to 31 devices. Practically all typical applications of the process industry can be implemented, both in small and large plants. Bidirectional communication and high information content allow enhanced diagnostics for fast and exact fault detection and elimination. The standardized communications services guarantee interoperability and replaceability between multi-vendor field devices and remote configuration of the field devices during operation.

Safety communication with the PROFIsafe profile

The PROFIsafe profile allows seamless integration of safety communication into the PROFIBUS PA. You need not configure a separate safety bus for your safety-related applications. The PROFIBUS PA with the PROFIsafe profile is incorporated in "Safety Integrated for Process Automation". This comprehensive range of products and services from Siemens for failsafe, fault-tolerant applications in the process industry offers you attractive and cost-effective alternatives to separate safety systems.

Redundant architectures

You can define the degree of redundancy separately for the controller, fieldbus and I/O levels of your plant depending on the automation task and the derived safety requirements, and match them to the field instrumentation (Flexible Modular Redundancy, FMR). You can find an overview of the redundant architectures of PROFIBUS PA under "Design".

Network transition PROFIBUS PA to PROFIBUS DP

The PA link is preferred as the gateway from PROFIBUS PA to PROFIBUS DP. When using the PA link, the transmission rate on the PROFIBUS DP is independent of the lower-level PROFIBUS PA segments. The configuration of the PA link depends on the fieldbus architecture. The types of coupler described in the section "PA routers" can be used for the configuration. With a small amount of data (small quantity framework) and low timing requirements, the DP/PA coupler can also be operated in stand-alone mode as a router.


Advantages provided by distributed field automation with application of the PROFIBUS PA profile included low hardware overhead, cost-effective engineering, increased operational safety and problem-free maintenance. These advantages are underlined by the following features:
•Modularity and uniformity from the sensor up to the control level permit new plant concepts
•Implementation of intrinsically-safe applications through use of the fieldbus in hazardous areas
•Redundant PROFIBUS PA architectures (ring and line topologies with coupler redundancy) support Flexible Modular Redundancy (FMR) from the automation system (controller) down to a PA field device
•Safety-related and fault-tolerant applications with low device and cabling requirements
•Reduced configuration costs through simple, central engineering of the field devices (PROFIBUS PA and HART with SIMATIC PDM, also cross-vendor)
•Simple installation using two wire cable for common power supply and data transmission
•Reduced commissioning costs through simplified loop check
•Low servicing costs thanks to simple wiring and comprehensive diagnostics facilities


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