HomeUncategorizedWhat is Time Sensitive Networking and how does it impact 5G manufacturing?

What is Time Sensitive Networking and how does it impact 5G manufacturing?

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What are the main benefits of Time Sensitive Networking?

Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN) is a set of IEEE 802 Ethernet sub-standards that are defined by the IEEE TSN task group. These standards enable deterministic real-time communication over Ethernet. TSN achieves determinism over Ethernet by using time synchronization and a schedule which is shared between network components. By defining queues based on time, Time-Sensitive Networking ensures a bounded maximum latency for scheduled traffic through switched networks. This means that in a TSN network, latency of critical scheduled communication is guaranteed.

In control applications with strict deterministic requirements, such as those found in the automotive, industrial, aerospace and space domains, Time-Sensitive Networking offers a way to send time-critical traffic over a standard Ethernet infrastructure, according to TTTech Group, a provider of safe networked computing platforms. This enables the convergence of all traffic classes and multiple applications in one network. In practice this means that the functionality of standard Ethernet is extended so that:

-Message latency is guaranteed through switched networks

-Critical and non-critical traffic can be converged in one network

-Higher layer protocols can share the network infrastructure

-Real-time control can be extended away from the operations area

-Sub-systems can be integrated more easily

-Components can be added without network or equipment alterations

-Network faults can be diagnosed and repaired faster

How does Time Sensitive Networking positively impacts industrial applications?

According to the Industrial IoT Consortium, Time-Sensitive Networking is key for industrial applications such as process and machine control where low communication latency and minimal jitter are critical to meeting closed loop control requirements. TSN is the first fully open, standard and interoperable way to fulfill these requirements

The Industrial IoT Consortium noted that 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 air-gapped (unconnected) standard networks. This approach makes devices and data much harder to access and creates a technical barrier to IIoT which is predicated on the ability to consume data anywhere throughout the infrastructure. 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,” the entity said.

“TSN enables a single, open network infrastructure supporting multi-vendor interoperability through standardization and IT and OT convergence through guarantee of service. The technology will be used to support real-time control and synchronization of high performance machines over a single, standard Ethernet network,” the consortium added.

TSN will support critical control applications such as robot control, drive control and vision systems to the industrial internet. Additionally, TSN connectivity enables customers, suppliers and vendors to more readily access data from these systems and to apply preventative maintenance & optimization routines to these systems.

Time Sensitive Networking and 5G

According to an Ericsson blog post, the possibility to connect the physical production world to a digital representation can provide flexibility and efficiency gains through better control and planning of the automation system. “Interconnecting multiple machines, devices, the cloud, and people, makes information accessible from anywhere in a factory. The resulting full transparency across processes and assets transforms the production plant into a cyber-physical production system. Smart manufacturing is made possible by adopting novel paradigms such as cloud computing, embracing digital twins and applying Artificial Intelligence in the management and control,” according to the post.

The Swedish vendor noted that the communication technology enablers for this transformation are TSN on the wireline side and 5G on the wireless side. “Both technologies have been designed to provide converged communication on a common network infrastructure for a wide range of services, including for time-sensitive applications that require deterministic, reliable, and low-latency communications.”

“There are significant benefits that can be achieved for industrial use cases with the introduction of TSN and 5G wireless communication, for example due to increased flexibility in the deployment of industrial equipment and the network. This requires 5G to provide robust support for Ethernet-TSN communication services and interworking with wired TSN networks,” Ericsson added.

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