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Why Does PROFINET Need an IP Address?

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Why Does PROFINET Need an IP Address?

An oft-heard question: “Why does a PROFINET device need an IP address? PROFINET uses names.” You may have heard the misinformation that PROFINET does not use TCP/IP. The correct information is that PROFINET does use TCP/IP and devices do have IP addresses!

So, the short answer to that oft-heard question: PROFINET uses TCP/IP and therefore needs an IP address.

The long answer is pretty simple: PROFINET uses TCP/IP where it makes sense (that is, where the data is not time-critical). For example:

 - Configuration

 - Parametrization

 - Diagnostics

Therefore, an IP address is needed for these functions. There are also other benefits. Many devices have embedded Web servers. This allows you to type in their IP address into a Web real-time browser and access them like a webpage. One of the biggest reasons people are moving to PROFINET is data access. By using IP addresses, it helps integrate device-level information vertically into higher-level MES systems.

Now, PROFINET does not use the IP address for real-time data; it just uses the physical address, the MAC address.  This means it can skip TCP/IP for faster, more deterministic performance.

Source: Profinews