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Industrial communication must be fast, real-time capable and standardized so companies can meet the challenges of modern industrial automation. WAGO stays a step ahead with its two new automation solutions, the I/O-Systems Advanced and Field for Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN). High performance and consistency throughout the network infrastructure are the decisive advantages conferred by the new communication standard.

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, Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN), with the goal of expanding conventional ETHERNET with the capabilities required for 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. The WAGO I/O System Advanced and the I/O System Field are ready for OPC UA and TSN.

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

Different Standards Slow Networking

Different communication standards continue to the connected factory more difficult to achieve. Fieldbus standards such as 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 via TSN changes that. As an open standard, it allows barrier-free data flow in all areas and positions 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, for purposes including the configuration of OPC UA. The key players are making good progress: WAGO has already developed a valuable technology demonstrator based on the WAGO I/O System Advanced. The demonstrator serves to expand further know-how for TSN and ensure acceptance of the new communication technology.

New Requirements on Automation

The automation specialist from Minden is a 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 that are physically separated, and separated by software technology, 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.

 The “missing link” for many future automation issues lies in the interplay between deterministic communication and uniform semantics. 

Dr. Thomas Holm, Head of Innovation and Technology

Related to the Topic

WAGO I/O System Field