This year, PROFIBUS & PROFINET (PI) North America began pushing its initiative: Industry Foursight. Its purpose is to inform users about upcoming trends in the industry and promote such trends. As part of this initiative, there are two new videos on the MinutePROFINET Youtube channel. Make sure you watch them!
Why TSN Makes Sense
Standard Ethernet today is not deterministic by design. Time Sensitive Networking (TSN) is a toolkit of roughly two dozen IEEE standards that create standardized deterministic Ethernet. With other industries outside of industrial automation interested in deterministic Ethernet, there is a larger market for the hardware. The idea is that eventually, this technology will be available from COTS (Commercial Off-The-Shelf) chips. Of the IEEE standards in the TSN toolbox, we’ve identified roughly half a dozen that are particularly relevant to industrial automation.
OPC UA in PROFINET Networks
PROFINET is optimally complemented by OPC UA. The two standards work together to smooth the path to seamless communication in the world of automation and IT. With Industry 4.0, there is the need to publish data to IT systems like MES, or Asset / Condition Management applications. Today this requires a lot of configuration effort and manual steps to make this data available. Since there is no standardized data semantics specified, often the data is not usable in an economically meaningful way. For this reason, PI supports OPC UA as a complementing service in PROFINET networks. OPC UA is an object and service-oriented architecture which features not only a standardized structure for the transport of data but a machine-readable description for data packets. The strengths of OPC UA lie in vertical integration and M2M communication.
The full Industry Foursight website can provide you with more content on TSN, OPC UA, and other new trends in industrial automation. Explore the site here: