System Design course


Robust and reliable networks all begin with great system design. Learn system design techniques following a top-down approach. This course will enable you to design a system that is reliable, maintainable, expandible, and minimizes the impact of control system or network failures. The course will also cover the use of network monitoring devices for fast fault and failure notification.

Case studies and examples from manufacturing, process plants, water treatment plants, material handling, and automated sorting, storage and retrieval systems are used in this course to provide you with real-world application experience.

The course ends with a written theory test. Successful students will be certified by PROFIBUS and PROFINET International as a Certified PROFIBUS System Designer.

Course content:

  • General system design requirements
  • The control system life cycle, consideration of maintenance, health checking and fault finding features. Characteristics of communication and transmission technologies. Environmental considerations and choice of appropriate devices, cables, and connectors
  • PROFIBUS network layout and design
  • PROFIBUS network architectures and their relative advantages in terms of performance, maintenance and reliability. Integrating operation, supervision and engineering information into the control system
  • PROFIBUS profiles
  • How profiles can simplify system design, maintenance and give vendor independence. Use of profile GSD files and DTMs.
  • Hazardous areas
  • Essential requirements for hazardous areas and available design options. Design of Intrinsically safe RS485 and MBP segments.
  • High availability systems and redundancy
  • Basics of component and system reliability and application of basic reliability modeling techniques. Overview and evaluation of practical solutions for high availability PROFIBUS systems, limitations, and essential needs
  • Fiber optic, infra-red and wireless transmission
  • Basics of fiber optic transmission. Connector and cable types. Design and application of various topologies, solutions for redundant fiber optic systems. Basics and design considerations for infra-red and wireless communication
  • Safety-related systems
  • Essential requirements and design options for safety-related systems
  • Control system and network timing
  • Control system sampling and timing considerations. DP and PA cycle time and jitter estimation. The effect of gateways and couplers
  • Basic characteristics and applications of isochronous cycle timing
  • Modern solutions for network monitoring
  • Documentation and drawing standards


There are no prerequisites for this course. However, it is highly recommended that the student has been introduced to PROFIBUS before, preferably with a certified Installers course or a two-day PROFIBUS Troubleshooting and Maintenance course.

Class Day Information:

  • Attendees must bring a laptop or tablet which can read a USB drive.
  • Attendees will receive a support USB drive with an electronic version of the materials plus key PI documents.
  • Attendees will receive a certificate for PROFIBUS System Design. The certificate is given only if the student passes the test
  • Attendees will also receive a digital copy of ‘Catching the process Fieldbus – An introduction to PROFIBUS and PROFINET’ co-written by the instructor James Powell

Training Equipment:

This course does not include a hands-on aspect, although there will be several exercises and design assignments.

Course duration:

This course is delivered over five days. Each day requires 7.5 hours of instruction which includes two 15 minute breaks and one 30 minute lunch break.

Cost and Registration:

This course is $4,050 CDN per person. For pricing in other currencies please contact us.

Click here to see the latest training schedule or contact us to arrange a training date.

This course can be delivered in person, on-site, or online. For on-demand a minimum of 3 students are required for online training.

Click here to download the detailed course description.

To register for this course or for other inquiries please email us

James Powell, P.Eng.


Your instructor for this course is James Powell, P.Eng., author of ‘HART – a practical guide’ and co-author of ‘Catching the process Fieldbus – An introduction to PROFIBUS and PROFINET’ (published by PROFIBUS and PROFINET International). James has over 20 years of experience with HART and PROFIBUS and over 25 years with Industrial Ethernet and has presented technical training in China, Chile, Argentina, Ecuador, USA, Canada, UK, Germany and the Netherlands. He is a certified PROFIBUS DP, PA, PROFINET network engineer and PROFIBUS System Design Engineer. 

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