Friday, May 19, 2017

TSN: Fieldbus Standardization - Another Way to Go

Fieldbus standardization has a very long history - resulting in tens of solutions in ONE single standard series IEC 61158. This has been discussed several times on this blog.
The latest decisions in the industrial automation domain could change the direction to go: To get one or two or three ... solutions - based on TSN (Time-sensitive Networking).
It took more than 25 years to implement in principle what I have written in a paper on Fieldbus and Ethernet. When I worked for Siemens Industry in the early 90s, I recommended to use native Ethernet instead of fieldbusses … now we write 2017 – 26 years later:
Click HERE for the paper “Bridging MAP to Ethernet” [PDF, 720 KB, 1991]
Click HERE for the paper “Fieldbus standardization: Another way to go” [PDF, 720 KB, 1991].

25 years of fieldbus wars are likely to end in the near future.
Even the Profibus International Users Group (PI) published the other day in the PI Profinews:
"TSN (Time-sensitive Networking) is a promising new IEEE technology for Ethernet that combines ... PI will expand PROFINET with the mechanisms of TSN in layer 2, retaining the application layer on the higher levels. This makes it possible to migrate the applications to the new technology simply and incrementally and to take advantage of the benefits of an open, globally standardized IT technology.”
Clicke HERE for the full announcement in the Profinews.

It's a pity that it took 25 years to understand that Ethernet is THE solution for the future.

TSN is just another link layer solution - what's about the upper layers? Huuch ... there is still the old fight of various groups that belief that their solution is the best!
PROFINET will keep their higher layers and add the option of OPC UA for higher automation levels to the cloud. So, they are recommending a compromise - which ends up in many higher layer solutions on TSN.

ABB, Bosch Rexroth, B&R, Cisco, GE, Kuka, NI, Schneider Electric, Belden/Hirschmann and Phoenix Contact are fighting for a SINGLE combination: TSN and OPC UA.

In the meantime we have - for more than 20 years - a SINGLE combination for the electric power (and energy) market: IEC 61850 with Ethernet and MMS (for client/server communication) supported by hundreds of vendors and users worldwide. AND: IEC 61850 has a huge basket of object models and a configuration language! What is being communicated through OPC UA TSN?

A finished solution (Ethernet/MMS some 25 years ago) is better than a perfect one that will never be accomplished - even not with TSN plus XX, YY, ZZ, ...!

This lets IEC 61850 look very good!

If you need your Profibus or Profinet data being communicated by IEC 61850, check HERE for Gateways.

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