GE Enables Real-Time Control, Simple Interoperability and High Performance for Control Systems with Distributed I/O Needs

PACSystems ® with integrated real-time PROFINET makes no compromises on performance or reliability for distributed applications

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA   AUGUST 9, 2011   GE Intelligent Platforms has launched PACSystems® with integrated real-time PROFINET, a global open protocol over standard Ethernet.This new product combines open standards into a solution that creates significant value in reliability, connectivity and performance. PACSystems with PROFINET provides flexible deployment that minimizes hardware and configuration issues, improves application uptime with minimal cost and satisfies user demand for high performance, distributed systems.

PACSystems with PROFINET is made for businesses moving from centralized control systems to Ethernet based distributed structures.  A high speed network with the ability to drop large amounts of I/O without compromising performance, PACSystems with PROFINET can operate in high-noise areas and cover large distances in real time with an elegant redundancy capability to maximize uptime.

“Companies today value solutions that control critical infrastructure and manufacturing operations at the highest levels of performance,” said Bernie Anger, Vice President, Control & Communication Systems for GE Intelligent Platforms. “The new PACSystems with PROFINET helps our customers increase production uptime, increase asset performance and improve their reliability.”

“The automation industry has been working for a long time to provide real-time control over standard Ethernet for performance and infrastructure simplification,” said Connie Chick, Global Product General Manager for GE Intelligent Platforms’ Controls. “To obtain vast adoption of Ethernet as a control network, we need to make the connected devices act and look like local IO -- taking out the network complexity for setup, making it incredibly easy to use everywhere without compromising performance.  PACSystems is all about taking open standards and making them better for targeted applications.”

“I am particularly excited by this news from GE,” said Michael Bryant, PI North America Chairman. “GE has been working to integrate PROFINET across its products, systems and solutions because it's an open protocol developed by global players. This means a global presence backed up by local knowledge.  Additionally, PROFINET provides higher performance and better access to real time plant floor data taking the worry out of volume, latency and throughput."

Utilizing PROFINET combined with PACSystems, GE is providing all of the benefits of an Ethernet system without the complexity. Name-based configuration enables solutions in just minutes.  Built-in switches with a choice of copper or fiber cable types for direct connection means that no extra hardware is needed for connectivity, allowing long distances between I/O nodesand increased reliability.The adoption of MRP (media redundancy protocol) in a ring topology allows customers to take nodes offline for maintenance without ever shutting the application. In the event of a wire cut, the system redirects traffic in as low as one millisecond without disrupting I/O.  PACSystems is known for its outstanding high availability offering and the PROFINET extensions add significantly to that capability. 

“Multi-disciplined automation platforms require real-time, open standards-based connectivity not only to devices on the plant floor, but also to production management systems that share data and information throughout the enterprise,” according to Craig Resnick, Research Director, ARC Advisory Group.  “PACSystems with integrated PROFINET appears to fulfil this market requirement by providing a plug-n-play solution to deploy real-time industrial Ethernet-based communications at all levels of the manufacturing enterprise, utilizing TCP/IP along with open IT standards.”

“PACSystems with PROFINET sets a new standard for integration of open systems, providing the user clear benefits now and easier migration to new technology in the future,” concluded Chick.“Our goal is to make customers more productive instantly by simplifying and eliminating unnecessary work.”

For more information:

Please see the PROFINET brochure:


About GE Intelligent Platforms

GE Intelligent Platforms is an experienced high-performance technology company and a global provider of software, hardware, services, and expertise in automation and embedded computing. We offer a unique foundation of agile and reliable technology providing customers a sustainable competitive advantage in the industries they serve, including energy, water, consumer packaged goods, oil & gas, government & defense, and telecommunications. GE Intelligent Platforms is headquartered in Charlottesville, VA. For more information, visit


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