For two days, on May 24 and 25, 2023, the SmartFactoryOWL, Lemgo, Germany hosted not only a TSN Plugfest, but also an APL Plugfest. In both cases the testing showed that the quality of certified devices is very high.
On the TSN side, PROFINET over TSN testing was performed not only with device manufacturers, but also experts for TSN test tools and providers of special test systems for TSN. What resulted was all participating devices were able to achieve robust and interoperable communication with synchronization accuracy in the nanosecond range. The integration also revealed some potential for improvement in the PROFINET specification and also in the implementations of the participating manufacturers. These will now be optimized in the follow-up TSN Plugfest planned for November.
On the APL side, the so-called “pruning” with a controller was tested and it worked well with the switches and the end-devices. Testing was done with 5 different controllers from ABB, Beckhoff Automation, Emerson, Phoenix Contact, and Siemens – plus some asset management systems. All of the APL testing turned out to be a very helpful, educational experience, and a great opportunity for networking, as probably none of the attendees would be able to test with so many devices from other manufacturers in one network.
Volker Goller, Analog Devices, leader of the APL testing effort, summed up the Plugfest by saying, “A Plugfest requires engaged participants, their eagerness, their brightness, and their commitment. The team brought all that to the table and turned the event into a great success.”
Everyone involved expressed a big “Thank You!” to Fraunhofer IOSB-INA in Lemgo for the organization and realization of both Plugfests.