PAA's 2014 membership spike reflects its rising star in industry




Seeking to remain up-to-date in the industrial market, and improve their automation capabilities, ten companies joined the Profibus Association of Australia (PAA) as new members in 2014.

Over the last 18 months, the PAA has invested in programs and campaigns to raise awareness within the industry about the productivity and cost benefits that Profinet- and Profibus-driven Industrial Automation can offer.

The PAA has also organised and held trade events which acted as opportunities for its members and their customers to network and learn more about Profibus. These include Profibus Business Luncheons featuring guest speaker Karsten Schneider, the Profinet & Profibus EXPO and a PROFINET Technical Seminar with Siemens expert Bernd Lieberth.

The PAA, through its efforts, has increased overall industry awareness of the benefits of process and factory automation, attracting the attention of many end-users and vendors.

As a result, the PAA is enjoying one of its highest intakes of new members in a 12 month period.

The new PAA members of 2014 include:

  • Newmont Mining
  • SMC Pneumatics
  • BESST
  • Balluff
  • Crisptech
  • Hero Engineering
  • Watersure
  • Aucom
  • Micromax
  • Plant Control & Automation

PAA’s marketing manager Andrew Dummett talked to some of these new members regarding their operations and their expectations in regards to their membership.


SMC Pneumatics (Australia)


SMC Pneumatics (Australia) provides electric and pneumatic automation systems and components that are typically integrated into Profibus and Profinet networks, and used to control all aspects of automated systems include pressure, flow and actuation on site.

According to Darrell Adams, Business Development Manager at SMC Pneumatics, the company decided to join the PAA in order to stay up to date with the market.

“As Profibus and Profinet are market leaders in the area of standard communications protocols, we believe by joining the PAA, SMC will be able to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to developing products that meet the market need for integrated sites,” Adams explained.


BESST


BESST designs automated power and control systems for power generation systems, such as remote area power stations, grid connected power generation plants and micro-grids.

To enable modularisation and scalability, and to speed up deployment and reduce the design, installation and commissioning costs, BESST designers develop these systems using Profibus and Profinet.

David Batterham, lead electrical engineer at BESST says membership in the PAA will allow the engineering firm to access a raft of Profibus specifications and documents so it can upskill its capabilities, allowing the company to provide better support for its project activities.

“Membership also provides BESST with the PROFINEWS newsletter and allows us to participate in seminars and exhibitions, so we can keep up to date with Profibus news, and network with other users,” Batterham said.


Balluff


Balluff is a global company which has been manufacturing sensor and transducer products and RFID systems with Profibus and Profinet interfaces for many years. It is a founding member of the IO-Link consortium and is already an active part of the Profibus International automation community.

The company’s range of IO-Link IP67 and IP20 distributed IO modules, sensors, transducers, RFID, inductive couplers and indicator lights are used to expand Profibus and Profinet networks.

Balluff recently created a wholly owned subsidiary in Australia, and is establishing a new office, warehouse and applications centre in Bayswater Victoria, where it will host training courses on connectivity applications with Profibus and Profinet communications as a key feature.

Balluff’s Marketing Manager Jim Wallace says the company decided to join PAA to offer its experience and support to the local organisation.

“In the past decade, Balluff has made a significant investment in distributed IO, especially in Profibus and Profinet. As a global company with local presence it is very important for us to promote the technology locally in Australia,” Wallace said.


Crisptech


Crisptech’s Ethernet Australia division was recently appointed the Australian distributor of Trebing + Himstedt network diagnostic tools. Ethernet Australia also provides fibre to Profinet converters from Ultra Electronics and Moxa -- tools that help clients identify and correct maintenance problems before they become major issues.

Crisptech Managing Director Nick Czeperko says the company is also considering offering Profinet technical training to engineers and instrumentation personnel.

“Ethernet Australia joined the PAA as we were seeing a strong trend towards Profinet in a lot of major projects,” Czeperko said. “We want to learn, be a part of the technological change and participate with like minded people.”


Plant Control & Automation


Profibus and PROFINET Encoder products from Posital/Fraba, one of Europe's largest encoder specialists

Adrian Smith, Plant Control & Automation company spokesperson, said PCA has been providing Australian assembled shaft encoder products since 1981. Recognising the ever increasing demand for more intelligent products, we added the Posital / Fraba range of encoder products, he added.

Posital specializes in single and multi-turn absolute encoders with models for use with most of the industrial protocols, including both ProfiBUS and ProfiNET.

PCA also have several products from Motrona, these provide a simple method for entering and displaying numerical values on to a Profinet network.