Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Your path to becoming a PROFIBUS expert in South Africa

The PROFIBUS Competence and Training Centre of Southern Africa (PCC) has been providing internationally certified PROFIBUS training since 2004. The centre is operated by Industrial Data Xchange. The courses are conducted by lecturers that have real on-site experience and have an in-depth knowledge of the content developments of the technology by attending PI Training Centre meetings across the globe. We believe that hands-on training is key and by the end of the course you will feel confident in creating your own network!

We've mapped out the path for you below: 

The entry level stage is for individuals who have no experience with PROFIBUS. If someone has been tasked with installing or maintaining a PROFIBUS network, they should at least have the PROFIBUS Installer certification. This should give the end user some level of confidence that the installation will work reliably. 

Which course is for me?
Installer Course
Engineer Course
PA Engineer Course
Start from the basics and learn how to properly build PROFIBUS networks according to the specification. Most faults can be prevented by building and installing PROFIBUS cable correctly and with care in the first place. Make sure only Certified Installers touch your network!

If you have already obtained the Installer Certification and want to learn more about how PROFIBUS works from first principals, then this course is for you. Network configuration, decoding diagnostic messages, optimizing timing settings, system debugging and troubleshooting are all topics that are packed into this course. 
Once you have the Engineer Certification, learn about PA network design and implementation. Doing the right calculations before commissioning can save a great deal of time and money. We also configure devices using common engineering tools. 
Installer with Troubleshooting Course
Installer with Engineer

System Designer

Identical to the Installer course but with an extra half day of learning how to use test equipment effectively to troubleshoot common PROFIBUS faults. This is where your installer knowledge really gets put to the test! Easily our most popular course!
Fast-track your way to an Engineer certification by doing the Installer Certification on the first day and continuing with the Engineer Certification over the rest of the course. An intensive course, but also the best value for the time and money that is committed to it.
We look at the control system life cycle, the consideration of maintenance, choosing the right technology and components, network layout and design, high availability, redundancy, control system and network timing, safety and documentation and drawing standards. 
What else do you need to know? 

  • There is an exam at the end of each course to help attendees practise what they learnt.
  • There is no need to bring anything! Lunch, equipment and training materials are provided.
  • All scheduled courses are held at the IDX offices in Fourways, Johannesburg, but contact us if you need us to do special onsite training.
Bookings are essential. Please contact us to book your next course or if you need any more information. We look forward to seeing you in the next course!

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Changing a device's PROFIBUS address using the Nettest II handheld PROFIBUS tester

NetTEST II Diagnostic Tool for PROFIBUSThe Nettest II is one of those tools that our PROFIBUS Engineers ensure that they have with them when going on a PROFIBUS callout. It's particularly useful as a pre-commissioning device to quickly test a section of newly assembled PROFIBUS cable before using it. It's amazing how easily installers can swap the A and B line, leave off a termination, create a short between the lines or shield or forget to attach the shield in a connector. If the cable passes the Nettest II Line Tests, you can be confident that the cable will work reliably in your installation. You can also view signal strengths, view a live list and monitor statistics, but did you know that you can change the address of a device? 
We occasionally get asked: "How can one change the address of the device that has no rotary dials or dip switches?" 
The answer would be to use a Class 2 Master. However, a technician on a night shift might need to replace a piece of equipment, and can't, because they do not have access to a computer running software with Class 2 Master functionality.  
With a Nettest II, it's possible to do it by using the following steps: 

On the main menu select 
“Line Test” 
> Select “Profibus Master mode” 
> Select “Extended Master” 
> Select “Master Parameters” and set these up so to match the segment to which you are attached. (i.e. baud rate = 45.45kb if connecting through a Siemens coupler) press “Enter” when done. 
> Select “Config. with livelist” and press “Enter” to delete Slave Definitions 
Once all of the device have been found press enter to terminate and enter again to begin the ident number capture. 
> Once this is complete press enter to return to the Extended Master Menu 
> Select “Slave Menu” 
> Select “Process Slave” 
> Select the device whose address you wish to change. 
> Select Single DP Services 
> Scroll to and select “SET_SLAVE_ADD_REQ” 

> Scroll to the new address and press “Enter”

Good luck! Let us know if you need any help with test tool advice, training or troubleshooting a PROFIBUS network.