Many publications describe innovative possibilities and new strategies for the integration of TSN, even if some of these ideas are not very well thought-out.

Working groups within the PI community are also involved in this field, using their profound expertise to examine the possibilities and work out the details for integrating TSN in PROFINET. The strategy is clear: TSN is an additional Layer2 in PROFINET’s tried and tested communication at the field level. Through the skilled selection of the individual TSN functions offered by IEEE, we gain robust, future-proof real-time communication. The user perspective, including the profile, remains unchanged.

It will surely still be several years before TSN becomes widely used, but this won’t stop the dissemination and further development of PROFINET. In fact, the strong footing and close coordination with customer requirements already serves as a reliable foundation for the continuation of the dynamic PROFINET standard.

At the SPS/IPC/DRIVES trade fair, which is often used as a platform to debut innovations, we are anticipating the market introduction of new IRT technology packages. The most recently specified functions – such as asset management and system redundancy – are already appearing in products. A preliminary test between device manufacturers was conducted during the popular Plugfest. These are specific examples of how today’s requirements are being implemented – requirements that are becoming increasingly significant in the Industry 4.0 environment. These functions are now also being incorporated into the certification process.

Certification tests are necessary for ensuring flawless interoperability of customer applications. This is why the vast range of HW and SW implementations that facilitate an optimal adaptation to the requirements of the individual device must be checked by experienced testers using highly automated testing tools.

The large number of newly certified devices on the Factory Automation multi-vendor wall at the trade fair makes it clear that this certification is being accepted, and it also demonstrates the rapidly increasing variety of certified devices.

The PROFINET community’s proven and firmly anchored procedures – continuous development and certified quality – will also be employed with the new TSN technology.

This shows that our TSN strategy is a perfect fit in our day-to-day business operations. The future begins today.

Xaver Schmidt
Factory Automation Marketing
Industry 4.0 WG