Why the future of industrial automation needs TSN

There is a lot of hype about one of the most significant and transformational developments in standard Ethernet technology – Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN). This is an enabling technology for industrial communications that can help to realise IT/OT convergence and lead to substantial enterprise-wide improvements. In effect, TSN and TSN-compatible devices are key to setting up futureproof Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) frameworks that enhance productivity, flexibility and responsiveness.

Jeremy Shinton, product manager for edge computing technologies at Mitsubishi Electric, looks at how TSN-compatible automation components can create agile and futureproof factories.

TSN is an innovative technology at Layer 2 (Data Link) of the Open System Interconnection (OSI) reference model for communications. Defined by the IEEE 802.1 standards, it provides key functions to make Ethernet deterministic by design. This enhances industrial communications technologies, helping to coordinate network traffic as the volume of data continues to increase with the convergence of IT/OT.

With TSN, all devices on a network are synchronised. This minimises the likelihood of jitter and prevents any subsequent delay in high-speed data transfer. In addition, TSN supports the prioritisation of urgent and regular data, by reserving timeslots for both. During these intervals, only scheduled or time-critical traffic is transmitted, without any interference. As a result, network overload can be prevented, minimising the risk of data loss.

In practice, these capabilities hold the key to creating futureproof IIoT applications. Providing accurate methods to prioritise the transmission of urgent or mission-critical information, such as control data from the shop floor, allows different types of traffic to be merged on the same TSN-compatible network. The result is flattened, simplified architectures with limited capital expenditure.

These architectures can also increase uptime by streamlining the identification and elimination of network errors. In addition to this, businesses can set up a more flexible infrastructure, where TSN-compatible devices can be easily added, removed or reconfigured.

The convergence of IT and OT is at the core of future-oriented IIoT applications and the ability to transmit multiple information types and protocols, whilst maintaining low jitter and latency, is essential. By creating a TSN-compatible, unified network of automation devices with TSN functionalities, IT and OT networks can be combined to operate over a converged Ethernet architecture.

This, in turn, enables companies to benefit from the data-driven knowledge generated by different parts of an enterprise as they obtain holistic actionable insights into manufacturing processes. Furthermore, they can create decentralized decision-making strategies to help different parts of the company access relevant data from across the organisation to obtain key process information. Ultimately, the in-depth understanding that is generated can be leveraged to improve KPIs, leading to enhanced performance, productivity, efficiency and end product quality.

TSN offers an unprecedented opportunity for companies, enhancing industrial communications and providing the tools to realise forward-looking smart manufacturing strategies. The implementation of TSN solutions in network technologies and automation devices is therefore essential to help businesses to succeed in their digital transformation strategies.

Mitsubishi Electric recently released TSN interfaces across its automation systems product range, providing communications technology that combine gigabit Ethernet bandwidth with Time-Sensitive Networking, CC-Link IE TSN. These enable both machine builders and end users to make the switch to TSN or upgrade their current systems.

The range of products offered by Mitsubishi Electric includes PLCs, servo amplifiers, robots, HMIs, I/Os, variable speed drives and CNCs. By adopting Mitsubishi Electric components that incorporate CC-Link IE TSN, companies can rely on proven technologies that realise the full potential of Time-Sensitive networking to create agile and futureproof factories.

Mitsubishi Electric Europe B.V.

Travellers Lane
Hatfield
AL10 8XB
UNITED KINGDOM

+44 (0)1707 288780

automation@meuk.mee.com

https://gb3a.mitsubishielectric.com

More products
Nabtesco delivers solutions for every drive application
To continue meeting increasing demand, Nabtesco is substantially expanding its production capacities with the construction of a new factory in Hamamatsu, 250 km southwest of the its headquarters in Tokyo – which will double the annual production capacity to two million precision gearboxes by 2026.
Festo showing ‘Progress in Motion’ at PPMA 2022
The Festo stand at PPMA 2022 will focus on key applications for the process and packaging sector. These include innovative process valve controls, servo-controlled flow wrapping and a new solution for controlling web tension with dancing rollers.
IFM Electronic makes IIoT easy at PPMA 2022
At this year’s PPMA Show, IFM Electronic is focusing on its moneo IIoT platform. This has been developed specifically to provide a convenient solution to the challenge of converting the huge amount of data produced by modern plant and machines into useful information that can be used to reduce downtime, optimise efficiency and cut costs.
Bürkert extends capabilities with Fine Controls partnership
The key distribution partner agreement between Bürkert and Fine Controls brings OEMs or end users in process control a distributor who can supply all the parts necessary to build a complete process system, as well as offering design and specification support.
Individual service for signal integrity
The demands on connection technology performance are constantly increasing. By providing customised support, Phoenix Contact helps customers select connection components to ensure the highest possible signal integrity.
Aveva MES rises in the leader ranks of the latest Gartner report
Aveva’s Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) offering, which is deployed in the UK & Ireland by AVEVA Select partners SolutionsPT, has been recognised as a global leader in industrial software in the latest 2022 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Manufacturing Execution Systems.
Siemens selected by Microsoft for RAMP Programme
Siemens Digital Industries Software has been selected to participate in the Rapid Assured Microelectronics Prototypes (RAMP) Phase II initiative.
Thomson Industries exhibits linear actuators for the marine industry
Thomson Industries will be exhibiting at the 30th Shipbuilding, Machinery and Marine Technology (SMM) trade fair in Hamburg in September, showcasing its comprehensive line of electric linear actuators for marine applications.
Harwin and MSA Components sign German distribution deal
Harwin is bringing greater strength to its German supply chain through a new strategic partnership with MSA Components. The agreement allows MSA to offer all the latest products from Harwin’s extensive portfolio.
Mould making at Emka for injection moulding of plastics and metals
Emka reports that it is now one of the top three mould makers in Europe – producing 900 moulds a year for plastic injection, including polyamide/glass and Grivery, as well as zinc and aluminium die casting.

Login / Sign up