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TSN—The Future Is Now

Jack Lin     Jan 10, 2020
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Time-sensitive networking (TSN) is set to become the next stage in the evolution of standard Ethernet technology by introducing deterministic data transmission, higher reliability, and enhanced security. While TSN is at the center stage of the future of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), the question is when this technology will be ready to be implemented in real applications. Moving from theory to practice is the last piece of the puzzle to realizing true OT-IT convergence. The first step towards realizing converged infrastructure was taken during the 2019 SPS Expo in Nuremberg, Germany. Moxa has worked closely together with industrial partners from CC-Link Partner Association (CLPA) and the OPC Foundation to demonstrate real automation applications based on TSN.

Close Collaboration With Other Industry Players

The TSN solution framework is the result of close collaboration with other major players in the industry and offers a unified network infrastructure that supports both critical and noncritical package transmissions across a truly converged network. The joint demonstration with Mitsubishi Electric showcased a TSN network infrastructure scenario that integrated CC-Link IE TSN devices to facilitate a variety of applications that require high-bandwidth, real-time communications, and high levels of determinism and performance, such as motion control tasks.

Ciritcal and noncritcal package transmissions over a converged network

More Flexible Industrial Network Management

In the same network, the TSN solution framework also introduced standardized OPC UA over TSN in cooperation with B&R Industrial Automation. Through this integration, the TSN solution framework enables more flexible industrial network management together with standardized OPC UA over TSN for communications at all levels, including controller-to-controller and controller-to-field devices that build the foundation for achieving plug-and-produce flexible manufacturing.

Controller-to-controller and controller-to-device transmissions over a converged network

Furthermore, the TSN software provided by acontis technologies GmbH plays a key role in incorporating edge intelligence into the framework. The TSN software extends the real-time transmission capability up to the application layer when sending and receiving data from the hardware to bring intelligent, deterministic networking to edge devices.

TSN software plays a key role in incorporating edge intelligence in the TSN solution framework

Participation in TSN Interoperability Testbeds

The TSN solution framework is the result of a large-scale collaboration between Moxa and many industrial players. Moxa has also been actively participating in the world’s most significant TSN interoperability testbeds to help ensure that the technology is stable and reliable before going to market. With the introduction of this framework, Moxa, together with the industry partners, are showcasing that a truly unified, highly flexible automation network infrastructure that converges OT and IT is not just a concept, but already a possibility today. For more information, read our white paper

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