Adding IoT value through passive PROFINET network data tapping

Hattersheim, 30. Mar. 2023 – Hilscher Gesellschaft für Systemautomation mbH is expanding its IoT portfolio with the containerized application netFIELD App PROFINET Tap. The application functions as a software gateway. It retrieves process data from a PROFINET network without relying on a PLC and converts the data into the MQTT protocol. By feeding the data into analysis software, plant operators can benefit from the data with minimal integration effort: For example, through early detection of anomalies in production processes or by optimizing processes after their analysis to increase productivity.

The container automatically identifies the PROFINET network topology during a network startup phase or prepares it topologically in its integrated web interface. Alternatively, the user can prepare the topology himself via the GSDML file. Users then individually define in the network tree which process data is to be published to an MQTT broker.

A stylized ear on a colourful background. The PROFINET logo can be seen on the left side.
Key Facts about Hilscher's netFIELD App PROFINET Tap

Tapping data on the industrial network without impacting the network can be done using a standard managed switch with a mirror port, and forwarded to any Gbit Ethernet-capable container host. Alternatively, the data can also be fed into the container context via container systems with an integrated industrial network interface. This requires the use of netX-based communication solutions such as PC cards or embedded modules. Hilscher’s netMIRROR can be used whenever you want to avoid interrupting the PROFINET network, for example in the event of power failures of the container host.

  • Continuous or interval-based sampling of PROFINET networks
  • Data input protocol: PROFINET
  • Data output protocol: MQTT
  • MQTT Publisher Interval: Minimum 1ms
  • Data distribution to any MQTT broker
  • Data throughput depending on processor performance
A picture showing the flow of PROFINET data through the TAP app container. A line divides the picture in the middle into OT and IT level.

Technical Benefits


  • Compatible with any PROFINET controller
  • Requires no changes in the PLC or machine configuration
  • Has no influence on a running PROFINET network due to passive data capturing
  • Can be easily integrated physically plug-and-play into any existing PROFINET system
  • Is the fastest way to upgrade systems with modern IoT techniques by using popular MQTT as outbound protocol
  • Works with a standard GBit Ethernet port as capturing interface

Economical Benefits


  • Allows to derive measures to increase plants productivity after analyzing the PROFINET data
  • Allows to study the overall behavior of controlled PROFINET signals through machine learning algorithms
  • Enables gapless data capturing without data loss as precondition for reliable 24/7 data logging and evidence tracking
  • Enables the realization of predictive maintenance scenarios due to long-term data mining


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