HomeStandardsSeven firms test time sensitive networking for the Industrial IoT

Seven firms test time sensitive networking for the Industrial IoT

A number of companies including Bosch Rexroth, Cisco, Intel, KUKA, National Instruments, Schneider Electric and TTTech have announced last month, plans to develop what it claims to be the world’s first Time Sensitive Networking (TSN) testbed.

The firms said that the testbed will be carried out in cooperation with the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC).

With this move, these organizations aim to advance the network infrastructure to support the future of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and Industry 4.0. To support new digital capabilities, connected manufacturing, designers and users need more reliable and secure access to smart edge devices. According to these companies, standard network technologies must evolve to meet the demanding requirements of these next-generation industrial systems and improve the way machines, electrical grids and transportation systems are operated.

The goal of this testbed is to display the value of new Ethernet IEEE 802 standards, referred to as TSN, in an ecosystem of manufacturing applications. TSN powers an open network infrastructure supporting multivendor interoperability and integration with new guaranteed performance and delivery.

The technology can support real-time control and synchronization, for example between motion applications and robots, over a single Ethernet network. TSN can also support other common traffic found in manufacturing applications, driving convergence between IT and operational technologies.

Manufacturing operations requires tight coordination of sensing and actuation to safely and efficiently perform closed loop control. Typically these systems have been deployed using non-standard network infrastructure or unconnected standard networks. This approach leaves devices and data much harder to access and creates a technical barrier to IIoT. To address these needs of IIoT all the way to the control system, the IEEE organization has been working to update the standards for Ethernet and wireless (IEEE 802) to support time sensitive networking. During the testbed, the technology will be used to support real-time control and synchronization of high performance machines over a single Ethernet network, supporting multi-vendor interoperability and integration.

“Testbeds are a major focus and activity of the IIC and its members. Our testbeds are where the innovation and opportunities of the industrial Internet – new technologies, new applications, new products, new services and new processes – can be initiated, thought through and rigorously tested to ascertain their usefulness and viability before coming to market,” IIC’s executive director Richard Soley, said.

The testbed will evaluate security value of TSN and provide feedback on the secure-ability of initial TSN functions and show ability for IIoT to incorporate high performance and latency sensitive applications. Additionally, the testbed will provide integration points for smart edge-cloud control systems into IIoT infrastructure and application

“TSNs are a critical attribute of a standard Internet model that enables the convergence of real-time control applications and devices onto open, interconnected networks. This technology is necessary for the future of the IIoT and the IIC is providing a community, as well as enabling real-world testbeds, where industry leaders can collaborate to make this a reality,” NI’s EVP of global sales and marketing Eric Starkloff said.

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