The first stage in the solution of this problem was achieved in 2004 with the establishment of South Africa’s first Internationally Accredited PROFIBUS Competence Centre. The Competence Centre provides South African Industry with Internationally Certified PROFIBUS Training to increase the skill levels of those installing and maintaining PROFIBUS systems. A difference was soon noticed and many PROFIBUS end‑users have begun requesting installation companies prove that they have attended Certified PROFIBUS Training before commencing work. However there was still no simple directory for an end-user to find companies that had trained PROFIBUS staff or an easy method for them to make sure that the correctly trained persons were involved at the necessary stages of the installation.
To this end PI-SA has vastly simplified this process through the creation of a "PROFIBUS Accredited Company" concept. PROFIBUS Accredited companies are Installation and Design companies that have signed a simple code of conduct agreement with PI-SA to follow acceptable PROFIBUS Installation principals and use personnel with necessary level of training for PROFIBUS tasks.
Any complaints with installations or designs carried out by such companies should be directed to PI-SA. PI-SA has committed to assisting in sorting out all such problems even where this may require sending PROFIBUS Competence Centre engineers inspect the site installation.
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PROFIBUS is a proven networking technology with many years of robust application in industrial environments around the world. While the majority of customers report little or no problems with system operation or uptime even after years of continuous use, a few report continuous struggles with network stability. Something does not add up!
The answer has nothing to do with the technology itself but is can rather be traced serious inconsistency on the part network installers in the quality of network design, layout and installation. Often personnel with general wiring experience but no particular training in the requirements for robust PROFIBUS network operation are tasked with designing or installing expensive, production critical systems. The results are seen by the PROFIBUS Competence Centre on numerous site visits where apparently simple network requirements, such as using PROFIBUS compliant cable or remaining within prescribed cable lengths, are ignored - resulting in the network instability.
How do companies become accredited?
PI-SA has sort to make the process of becoming a PROFIBUS accredited company is painless as possible. The basic requirements are: