Testbed to develop time sensitive networking reference architecture

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A collaboration organised by the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) and involving Bosch Rexroth, Cisco, Intel, KUKA, National Instruments, Schneider Electric and TTTech is developing the first Time Sensitive Networking (TSN) testbed.

“Testbeds are a major focus and activity of the IIC and its members,” said IIC executive director Dr Richard Soley. “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.”

The testbed, which will be hosted by NI, will:

  • Combine different critical control traffic (such as OPC UA) and best effort traffic flows on a single, resilient network based on IEEE 802.1 TSN standards
  • Demonstrate TSN’s real time capability and vendor interoperability using standard converged Ethernet
  • Assess the security value of TSN and provide feedback on the ability to secure initial TSN functions
  • Show ability for the IIoT to incorporate high-performance and latency-sensitive applications

Speaking exclusively to New Electronics, Rahman Jamal, NI’s global technology and marketing director, said: “NI is now involved in four IIC test beds: track and trace; microgrids; condition monitoring; and, now, TSN.

“The TSN test bed is all about applications in the manufacturing environment with different types of device. It’s the first test bed to be based on TSN.”

The collaboration aims to produce a reference architecture for manufacturing environments and to produce results within the next six months or so, according to Jamal.

Ralf Koeppe, vice president of engineering and manufacturing, electric drives and controls, Bosch Rexroth, added: “We regard the TSN testbed to be a very important contribution for further improvement of vendor interoperability and of exchanging data in an IIoT infrastructure.”