Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN) technology offers the foundation to set up digital manufacturing practices by enhancing industrial communications. By standardizing determinism in industrial Ethernet, TSN ultimately supports reliability, data accessibility and network convergence. These are fundamental features within highly competitive and futureproof smart factories.
The automation marketplace is a symbiosis of end users, who specify projects to machine builders, who in turn look for vendors who can offer products and solutions that meet these specifications. TSN is well placed to deliver benefits to all market participants.
TSN is a technology that sits at Layer 2 - Data Link of the OSI model to expand the capabilities of current Ethernet networks. More precisely, this innovation is described by the IEEE 802.1 set of Ethernet sub-standards and focuses on delivering determinism and convergence of multiple data traffic streams on one network. Two particularly important TSN sub-standards that provide such abilities are IEEE 802.1 AS and IEEE 802.1 Qbv.
The first ensures that all devices on a network are synchronized, providing the basis for determinism. Once a shared sense of time is in place across a network, IEEE 802.1 Qbv defines ‘time aware shapers’. These define specific ‘time slots’ that are assigned to different types of network traffic, which are prioritized according to the information carried. As a result, different types of data traffic can all travel across the network in a predictable way, further supporting deterministic communications. Ultimately, this method supports convergence of multiple traffic types and consequently the ability to combine the operational technology (OT) and information technology (IT) worlds. Learn more at the website below.