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OPC TSN gains momentum


OPC TSN gains momentum

Two more major companies, Phoenix Contact and Belden, are now supporting the OPC UA over Time Sensitive Networking (TSN) standard. ABB, Bosch Rexroth, B&R, CISCO, General Electric, KUKA, National Instruments (NI), Parker Hannifin, Schneider Electric, SEW-Eurodrive and TTTech already announced the joint promotion of OPC UA over TSN in November last year.

OPC UA TSN is the combination of the OPC UA Publisher/Subscriber (Pub/Sub) technology with the IEEE TSN Ethernet standards. It provides open, standard building blocks unify communication for industrial automation and it enables the broad convergence of information technology (IT) and operation technology (OT).

We will actively support the combination of both technologies in our products, because it defines a modern, flexible and easy way of communicating in real time between intelligent systems in the automation field”, says Martin Müller, Vice President - I/O and Networks at Phoenix Contact. “The activities also take care of description formats, functional profiles and engineering use cases, so that in a heterogeneous automation landscape the engineering stays as easy as today. With all these features this activity is one of the most promising approaches to standardize on a Industrie 4.0 capable user data level including real time functionality on the network level.

Belden/Hirschmann is also supporting the initiative: “TSN and OPC UA are a huge opportunity for a universal and interoperable IIoT”, says Wolfgang Schenk, Managing Director Core Networking at Hirschmann Automation and Control GmbH. “Since the early days of Industrial Ethernet, Hirschmann has always supported open standards and contributed its expertise to many international standardization efforts, such as the TSN standardization in IEEE 802.1 and IEEE 802.3.

The initiative is taking place under the umbrella of the Industrial Internet Consortium’s (IIC) TSN Testbed and the OPC Foundation. The IIC TSN Testbed has recently expanded both regionally and in terms of new members: In addition to the NI Industrial IoT Lab in Austin, Texas, a new testbed has been set up at Bosch Rexroth’s development site for ‘IoT related control and communication solutions’ in Erbach, Germany. Recently, the companies Hilscher and SICK also joined the testbed and are testing their OPC UA TSN devices in this environment.

Dr. Thomas Bürger, Vice President Engineering Automation Systems at Bosch Rexroth, explains why Bosch Rexroth invests in the European instance of the IIC TSN Testbed. “We believe that open platforms, open standards and strategic alliances are important success factors for communication solutions. Therefore we decided to host the European instance of the IIC TSN testbed. The short ways for the European suppliers shall increase innovation speed.


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