COMbricks™ – Networking, Monitoring and Control

COMbricks Head Station with 4 PROFIBUS RepeatersCOMbricks™ –
The first PROFIBUS and PROFINET- based automation system that unites network components, permanent monitoring with ProfiTrace and remote I/O.

COMbricks allows you to remotely monitor your PROFIBUS installations from anywhere in the world and will alert you if any faults arise or are likely to arise. It’s a modular platform able to carry repeater and fiber optic modules. Over Ethernet, the condition of the installation can be remotely inspected with ProfiTrace OE (in a web browser).






Long term preventative maintenance checks on network performance
Short term fault-finding and new system verification tool
Remote access maintenance station (ProfiTrace OE)
Modular repeater backbone with hot swap
Transparent datahub (repeaters, PA, fibre optic, RS 485-IS, DP slave, etc.)
Gateway between PROFIBUS and PROFINET (DP/PN couplers)
Product features
Drives 32 modules (10 high-speed modules)
Wide range of modules available
Powerful web server
Automatic 24/7 healthcheck monitoring of up to 4 networks (or 4 segments)
Logging of significant PROFIBUS messages to local SD memory
Automatic e-mailing of alarm messages
Hot swap and extendible
Low level data access via CommDTM, OPC and SNMP
DIN-rail mounting

IP 20

Monitoring of PA, RS-485-IS and FOUNDATION Fieldbus segment waveforms
  Driving PA (PA Link Module) and RS-485-IS segments
Modular PROFIBUS repeaters

The current trend with PROFIBUS projects is to use segmentation with repeaters, fibre optic and ProfiHubs to solve common end-user network layout and cabling difficulties. COMbricks adds another important component, with new capabilities; modular repeater hubs that provide permanent network status monitoring, with automatic alarm condition alerts and associated data inspection from remote locations in familiar ProfiTrace format.

COMbricks PROFIBUS repeaters

COMbricks is based on a backplane into which 10 hot swap repeater modules with 2 channels each can be inserted (20 galvanic isolated transparent segments). Every channel can handle 31 devices and maximum 1200 m cable length (depending on the baudrate).

The bus redundancy technology of the repeater modules is very advanced, allowing systems with up to 10 parallel network cables. This architecture provides extremely high availability. Most suppliers only allow 2 cables.

COMbricks PROFIBUS redundancy

Typical applications

• Repeaters with permanent ProfiTrace • Removable drives and motors
• Star, tree and bus structured networks • Motor control centres (drawers)
• Redundancy for high availability • EMC vulnerable applications
• Spur lines • Isolator for sensitive devices


ProfiTrace OE – Remote monitoring in a web browser

Permanent and simultaneous monitoring of 4 PROFIBUS networks is a powerful feature of COMbricks. Global projects and a shortage of (qualified) technical staff members are causing significant capacity problems. COMbricks offers a solution by remotely monitoring PROFIBUS installations over the Internet and alerting the user by email.

COMbricks has no softwareA web server with a ProfiTrace shell visualises the information in an understandable format (ProfiTrace OE). Because of the web browser, additional software is NOT required and a constant connection with a PC to the COMbricks is NOT necessary.

The monitoring and logging is performed by the repeater modules which are inserted in the backplane. COMbricks is the first system that has integrated the busmonitor in the network components. Deploying COMbricks repeaters for regular automation means an automatic availability of ProfiTrace OE.

E-mail messages provide real-time alerts should malfunctions be detected in any of connected PROFIBUS installations. These can be easily set up through a web server.

ProfiTrace OE includes a new device location detection function. This gives a detailed overview of the particular repeater segment on which each device is installed.

Typical applications

• Cross border installations • Traffic control installations
• Inaccessible installations • Water treatment
• Long commissioning and test cycles • Offshore installations
• High availability networks • 24-7 service contracts
• Robot cells

Getting Started with COMbricks

For further information about getting started with COMbricks and related software, click on the following link, checking our PROFIBUS News web page for latest updates :-

Quickstart you first COMbricks Project

And for live streaming of COMbricks information into ProfiTrace, see following link about the new ProfiTrace v2.6.0 software, including associated screen images of what will be seen. (Note that even newer v2.6.1 available March 2012)  :-

ProfiTrace v2.6.0 s/w for COMbricks data streaming

And to get better idea of what can be seen from the COMbricks Head Station, click on the following link which will connect you to the live Procentec COMbricks web server demo. To understand the hardware arrangements for this demo, click on the left hand Channel List link – this currently shows a Head Station connected to a 2 Channel Repeater, plus four Scope Repeaters linking sections of two different PROFIBUS networks. Refer then to the Live List page, viewing the separately tabbed displays for each of the two networks.

Check the Slot 3 oscilloscope image, noting that the cable to Slave with Address 34 has a terminator missing, resulting in significant waveform oscillations. Click on either of the small waveform images for enlargement and access to the associated timebase control.

Live COMbricks web server demonstration

Monitoring Kit


Eco Monitoring KIT

• 1 x Head Station type 1B
• 1 x 1 Channel repeater
• 1 x Fixed backplane unit
• Includes live data streaming


Monitoring Kit
1 Network


Standard Monitoring KIT
• 1 x Head Station type 1B
• 1 x 1 Channel Scope repeater
• 1 x Fixed backplane unit
• Includes live data streaming

Other COMbrick Kits also available : Full details on request

1 Channel


2 Channel


– 1 & 2 Channel PROFIBUS repeaters
– 12 Mbps
– 31 devices per channel
– Screw terminals
– DB9 connector (on Channel 1)
– Redundancy
– Termination
– Backplane unit



1 Channel repeater with oscilloscope
– Same specs as regular 1 channel repeater
– 192 MS/s sample rate
– 50 mV resolution
– Range -6.436 to +6.436 V
– Backplane unit included
More info