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Profiles describe a set of functions and characteristics that relate to a device or the way it is used. Profiles can cover simple devices such as encoders but also extend right up to how PROFIBUS or PROFINET are used with external systems such as MES, or to manage life cycle costs more effectively.

The advantages include harmonization between device manufacturers so that end users find the same functionality market-wide. Profile devices and tools can cooperate easily, reducing the integration effort of devices and tools into an automation system.

Profiles form a solid base for interchangeability. This stimulates innovation, and ensures best-in-class performance, competitive prices and whole-life asset benefits.

Some Profiles - such as the Train Profile - are specific to PROFINET. A Fast Start Up Profile is now increasing productivity in robot lines by speeding tool changes. Yet another Profile - PROFIenergy - is taking PI into a wider industrial context by defining how power hungry devices such as lasers and robots can be actively managed by the network controller to minimize energy consumption. Requested by AIDA (the Automation Initiative of German Automobile Manufacturers), PROFIenergy is driven by the need to reduce operating costs and comply with latest environmental regulations.


PI is aiming for the highest degree of commonality between PROFINET and PROFIBUS Profiles in order to simplify design, engineering, personnel and operational issues across the enterprise. PROFIsafe and PROFIdrive are examples where this commonality has already been achieved.

To learn more about Profiles first take a look at:

There are also a range of documents explaining the various Profile types. They can be found here.

PROFIBUS is a standardized, open, digital communications system for all areas of application in manufacturing and process automation.

PROFINET is the innovative open standard for Industrial Ethernet. It satisfies all requirements of automation technology..

IO-LINK is an independent sensor / actuator interface solution for use with PROFIBUS and PROFINET.