System Design course


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 will receive course notes, writing materials and 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 includes no hands-on aspect, although there will be several exercises and design assignments.

Cost and Registration:

This course is $4,400 per person. This course can be done in person, onsite, or online.

On demand – we need a minimum of 3 students to run this course online.

To register, please email us at:


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. 

How do I best design a network? How can I improve my design? What do I need to consider? What about incorporating PROFIBUS, HART, Modbus, IO-Link, PROFINET, EtherNet/IP, OPC in my network design? How reliable will the network be? How can I increase reliability and availability?

If you are asking yourself these questions, then this is the course for you. The course provides a top-down approach to designing a modern automation and control system and helps managers and designers made the correct decisions from the project beginning. The course applies to all sectors of industry from factory automation to process control. Examples and case-studies used on the course are from a wide range of industries including manufacturing, process plant, water treatment, material handling and automated part sorting storage and retrieval.

One of the aims of the course is to cover the design of modern control systems that are maintainable and which minimize the impact of the control system and network failures which will inevitably occur during the lifetime of the plant. The aim is to minimize the footprint of failures in terms of restricting the extent of the effects of failures and also the time to locate and repair faults.

The course also covers the use of some of the latest and most important developments to appear on the market, including new devices which provide permanent monitoring of networks and notification in the case of degradation or failure.

This course meets all of the requirements for the PROFIBUS Network Design certificate. Student who pass the final examination will be given the certificate. 

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