ECC Announces the TSN + OPC UA Testbed for Smart Manufacturing

Hannover, Germany, April 23, 2018, at the world's largest industrial fair HANNOVER MESSE 2018, more than 20 international organizations and leading industry vendors jointly announced the “Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN) + OPC Unified Architecture (OPC UA)” smart manufacturing testbed covering six major industrial Internet scenarios. The stakeholders engaged in the testbed include Edge Computing Consortium (ECC), the Alliance of Industrial Internet (AII), Avnu Alliance, Fraunhofer FOKUS, Huawei, Schneider Electric, HollySys, National Instruments Corporation (NI), B&R Automation, TTTech, and Spirent Communications. At the event, the testbed was demonstrated by simulating a range of real-life smart manufacturing conditions to show its key technical highlight — TSN + OPC UA, which is the major driving force for new technologies such as predictive maintenance, data analytics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence (AI). TSN + OPC UA helps industrial companies enhance efficiency by reducing downtime, improving overall device efficiency, and reducing total cost of ownership.


AII, Avnu Alliance, ECC, Fraunhofer FOKUS, Huawei, Schneider Electric, and Many Other Stakeholders Jointly Announce the TSN + OPC UA Testbed for Smart Manufacturing

Smart manufacturing requires flexible production systems and cross-platform, cross-industry applications, however this demands large-scale real-time industrial communications networks which present significant challenges for operators. Recent years, IEEE802.1 defines technical standard of TSN, which is aimed to promote standardization and interconnection of real-time Ethernet, to achieve OT and ICT in same network in the end. The design concept of TSN is to provide unified low-latency queue scheduling mechanism、resource reservation mechanism、clock synchronization mechanism、path control mechanism、configuration management model on the MAC layer over the physical layer of standard Ethernet, achieving interconnection with standard Ethernet.


Launched at the HANNOVER MESSE 2018, the testbed complies with the OPC UA standards, ensuring that multiple devices from different vendors can easily collaborate with each other in a single system. The TSN testbed integrates Software-Defined Networking (SDN) technology to prioritize traffic based on precise timing and transmit both real-time and non-real-time data over a single network. This enables connectivity and interoperability for machines, people, and things across the entire network and bridges the last mile for the industrial Internet.


The smart manufacturing testbed includes six industrial internet scenarios: TSN for Predictive Maintenance, Motor Synchronization, Racing-Car Game, Plotter Motion Control, LED synchronization, and OPC UA over TSN. This testbed verifies the highly deterministic and low-latency nature of the TSN network in complex environments, and ensures strict synchronous motion control in industrial scenarios.


       Dr. Alexander Willner from Fraunhofer FOKUS, presented a speech

“Since the introduction of Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) in the 1970s, industrial automation processes have been optimized significantly,” stated Dr. Alexander Willner from Fraunhofer FOKUS. “The convergence of these operational technologies and modern information and communication technologies will fuel interesting and exciting innovations across the whole value chain. With OPC UA and TSN, we have two promising building blocks towards interoperable real-time information exchange in industrial domains. The scenarios demonstrated in our joint testbed showcase our respective technological advancements as we look to the future of digital networking.”


In the future, ECC will help build an industrial Internet ecosystem by deepening cooperation with more organizations and vendors in the industry, promote the continuous improvement of edge computing technologies and architecture, and accelerate digital transformation of the entire industry.

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To promote in-depth industry coordination, accelerate innovation, and boost the application of edge computing, six industry entities have joined together to establish the ECC. The ECC is dedicated to advancing cooperation among industry resources from government, vendor, academic, research, and customer sectors, and pushing forward the sustainable development of the edge computing industry.
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