The Industrial Internet Consortium reveals TSN Testbed Plugfest feats and expansion

The Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) announced Tuesday ongoing success of the plugfest series of the Time Sensitive Networking (TSN) Testbed and the expansion of the TSN Testbed to Europe.

At the March 2017 IIC Member Meeting, in Reston, Virginia, the TSN Testbed received top ranking in the Testbed Showcase, an opportunity for IIC testbed leaders to present and be judged by their peers on the strategic value of their testbeds.

These testbeds are used for plug-fest activities where member companies collaborate to test implementations and interoperability. They also serve as standing units where individual companies can work on updates and integration, and they are transported to various industry shows and events.

The testbed documents the value of TSN and provides feedback to the relevant standards organizations on areas of further clarification or improvement.

TSN is a deterministic enhancement to Ethernet, a foundational piece of the Internet of Things (IoT). The TSN Testbed applies TSN technology to a range of manufacturing automation and control vendors to display the new capabilities and value. Three key capabilities form its core include Time Synchronization, sending Scheduled Traffic Flows, and central, automated system configuration.

The TSN Testbed is enabling the early phase usage of enhancements to Ethernet standards IEEE 802.1 and IEEE 802.3.

All TSN Testbed work is communicated to IEEE and Avnu, a standards organization developing the interoperability and certification based on the IEEE’s TSN. It is used to display OPC UA enabled vendor independent interoperability of real-time data and other industrial automation protocols (e.g. ODVA’s EtherNet/IP) on the same network with typical IT voice/video data.

TSN Testbed participants include IIC members Analog Devices, Belden/Hirschmann, Bosch Rexroth, B&R Industrial Automation, Cisco, Hilscher, KUKA, National Instruments, Renesas Electronics, Schneider Electric, SICK AG, TTTech and Xilinx. Other participants include Calnex, Ixia, ISW – Stuttgart University and Phoenix Contact.

Plugfests are face-to-face events where participants gather to test the interoperability of their enhanced products and technology. The fifth plugfest has taken place in Austin, Texas at the NI Industrial IoT Lab, testing, for example, synchronizing devices to a common, precise sense of time delivered over the network, establishing TSN flows between various vendors, communicating input/output traffic via TSN flows, and demonstrating TSN’s ability to protect critical flows from high-bandwidth traffic.

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