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How do I Certify my PROFINET Product?

So you’ve developed a PROFINET device, and now comes the moment of truth: “How am I supposed to take this device and get it approved, and how long is this going to take?” Well, the first part of that question is a lot easier to answer than the second. The PROFI Interface Center has a whole page devoted to the certification process, but I’ll go over the highlights here.

  • Join PI (most of the country’s have their own PI) and get your Vendor ID.  Coordinate with whatever internal control system your company has established to get a Device ID.  These numbers are critical for keeping track of your device through the certification process.
  • Pre-test your device.  PI offers the same software the test labs use to its member companies free of charge.  Download it and run the test cases against your device.  If you have questions, you can contact any PROFINET Competence Center for help. (**Pre-testing is critical to insure a smooth session at the PI Test Lab, and that’s why most test labs can offer a pre-test if you don’t have the resources available.**)
  • Apply for a PROFINET Device Test with the PROFINET Test Lab of your choice.  Each lab has its own set of procedures, but in general, they will need to know:
    – Your PI-issued Vendor ID and Device ID
    – The Conformance Class you’ve chosen to adhere to
    – Any Profiles you’ve implemented (PROFIdrive, PROFIenergy, etc)
  • At the end of the Device Test, the test lab will issue a test report on your device; a successful report will recommend your device for certification.  You then submit that report, along with your certification application, to PI.  PI will then issue your certification.

So, it’s easy, right?  But how long does it take to move through this process?  I can’t give you definite answers, but here’s how it usually breaks down:

  • You have two different organizations involved, the Test Lab and PI.
  • Lead time on a test can vary, usually between two weeks and two months, while the device test itself will take about a week (complex devices will require more time).
  • Moving the test report through PI and getting a certificate will take a matter of weeks, depending on the number of devices in PI’s queue.

I’m a test lab guy, and I rarely get the chance to see this process from an external point of view.  For those of you that have gone through this process, does this jive with your experiences?

Kyle Mcmillan, PROFI Interface Center