Will TSN be another disruptive communications technology?
The growth of IIoT means information has become the most important commodity for international manufacturing industries. Automation systems need the ability to handle large amounts of data at speed and Time Stamped Networks (TSN) provide this. TSN offers a non-proprietary technical solution for delivering high performance deterministic communication between industrial devices to field level over Ethernet. It is based on IEEE 802.1
Browett, General Manager of CC-Link Partner Association (CLPA) Europe, considers time-sensitive networking (TSN) and the future of Industrial Ethernet
IEEE 802.1 networks
Originally developed by the IEEE 802.1 working group for professional audio-visual systems, TSN technology could overcome the limitations of traditional industrial Ethernet networks that have slowed their adoption in industries such as automotive and manufacturing. The goal is a profile for industrial automation standardised by IEC/IEEE 60802 to provide deterministic services through IEEE 802 networks. This means guaranteed packet transport with bounded latency, low packet delay variation, and low packet loss.
The open technical standards of the IEEE 802.1 series serve to establish determinism and convergence of IT and OT. It allows a single industrial Ethernet to manage both cyclic and transient data to ensure successful delivery of time-critical data. Innovative TSN networks provide for effective traffic organisation and prevent transmission delays.
Work on TSN technology and its policies is ongoing. While standards such as IEEE 802.1Qbv – “Enhancements for Scheduled Traffic”, are already ratified and published, others, such as IEEE 802.1AS-Rev – “Timing and Synchronization for Time-Sensitive Applications” are still under development or revision,
Can I use TSN in automation systems?
Although the IEEE solution seeks to provide universal connectivity and compatibility, companies that are now implementing their first TSN products may be subject to different standards that can lead to device incompatibilities.
The working group IEC / IEEE 60802 is currently working on the standardization of TSN for industrial automation. However, end-users are well advised to select TSN products with care to avoid future problems. For example, choosing those based on the currently accepted IEEE 802.1 standards.
The CLPA is adopting the recognized IEEE 802.1AS standard, the basis for time-critical communication, and IEEE 802.1Qbv for the latest CC-Link IE TSN network technology. As the market develops, they expect consolidation and adoption of TSN in a variety of existing applications as well as the increased use of open technologies for a wider range of solutions. There was an announcement at SPS / IPC / Drives 2018 on OPC UA with TSN down to the field level, supported by all relevant automation providers, including the important CLPA partner Mitsubishi Electric. But this will not be the only trend in industrial communications.
Whilst TSN provides the tools to organise traffic and focus on time-critical information, bandwidth remains important. Having enough bandwidth is critical for managing the growing volumes of cyclic and transient data on the same network. The gigabit capacity supported by CC-Link IE TSN provides support for continued growth.
Going forward, TSN provides the tools to organise traffic and focus on time-critical information. Adequate bandwidth remains an important factor for sustaining the ever-growing volumes of cyclic and transient data on the same network. With Gigabit Capacity as supported by CC-Link IE TSN is becoming more important.
Translated and adapted from Was bringt die Zukunft für TSN und industrielles Ethernet?
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