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Topics 18 October 2018
TSN plus OPC UA as the New Standard for the Industrial World

Industrial communication must be fast, real-time capable and standardized so companies can meet the challenges of digitization. Therefore, WAGO is committed to promoting OPC UA over TSN as a form of communication that will make the cross-level, manufacturer-independent solutions of tomorrow possible.

Efforts are underway around the world to develop communication solutions for real-time and sensor-to-cloud applications in industrial environments. The promising approaches include the future industry standard OPC UA over TSN. The goal of TSN (Time-Sensitive Networking) is to expand conventional Ethernet with the capabilities required for the real-time transmission of data – with a bandwidth of multiple gigabits. In combination with the manufacturer-independent communication protocol OPC UA, it allows fast, easy, secure use of information across different manufacturer systems. Therefore, in the future, WAGO will offer OPC UA over TSN on its controllers.

The advantages of TSN OPC UA:

  • Ensures high-performance isochronous communication
  • Allows plug-and-produce scenarios through the combination of deterministic communication and information modeling
  • One technology allows all application cases through manufacturer-independence and a broad range of uses
  • Is fully compatible with the existing Ethernet standard

New Requirements on Automation

The automation specialist from Minden is an driving force in the TSN OPC UA corporate association. The goal is to implement this communication standard in the industrial world, since the increasing networking of machines and systems requires new communication technologies: Networks separated by software technology and physically will be united in modern production facilities – resulting in flexible hierarchies in which machines and systems communicate with each other, companies’ IT systems and the cloud.

Different Standards Slow Networking

Different communication standards also make the connected factory more difficult. Fieldbus standards such as PROFIBUS, EtherCAT® and CAN are not automatically compatible with each other – the possibility of exchange with IT networks, which are usually broadband, is very restricted. Therefore, gateways are necessary for the communication between machines and components of different manufacturers. OPC UA over TSN will change that. As an open standard, it allows barrier-free data flow in all areas and functions of a company. Furthermore, it improves latency and robustness in industrial networks and, with its real-time capability and high bandwidth, it meets an important requirement on future communication in automation, where differences of milliseconds and microseconds are starting to matter more and more.

WAGO Demonstrator Shows the Potential

While TSN ensures that all participants of a TSN network are time-synchronized and data arrives on time where it is needed, OPC UA contains information on what this data means. Many companies are currently working on combining the two sensibly with each other and with other technologies, including ones for the configuration of OPC UA. The key players are making good progress: WAGO has already developed a technically valuable technology demonstrator based on the WAGO PFC200 Controller. The demonstrator should serve to expand further know-how for TSN and ensure acceptance of the new communication technology.

Related to the Topic

Cloud Connectivity

Do you want to exchange real data with the digital world efficiently and securely? Then discover cloud connectivity with WAGO products. It is based on the MQTT protocol, paving the way directly to the WAGO Cloud and allowing access to a large number of cloud solutions and services from various vendors.

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