Over the past two years, a wide variety of different experts at PROFIBUS & PROFINET International (PI) have been heavily engaged with the integration of TSN into PROFINET, which is still the driving theme for PROFINET. This not only includes the working groups which created the specification documents and which actively supported the standardization work in the IEC, but also the testing experts who have designed and implemented the basis for the TSN functionality certification tests, which were provided for use by interested members by means of so-called trial bundles. The test cases for the TSN functional scope used in PROFINET are expected to be available for certification tests and use in the development departments of member companies with the new version of PROFINET Tester coming in 2023.
At the same time, a number of technology providers have begun implementing TSN in their hardware and firmware stacks. For early testing, these member companies are using the test cases already mapped in the trial bundles. This process is resulting in a win-win situation. On the one hand, the companies are able to assess their own implementation at an early stage based on these test cases mapped in the pre-released version. On the other hand, the Test System Development Group can use the assessed findings of the companies for efficient improvement of Tester quality.
As another pillar of support, PI has provided a PROFINET Community Stack containing the core of the PROFINET communication for controller and devices. The goal here is to simplify integration of TSN and both existing and upcoming PROFINET functions as well. A community of committed members are expanding and maintaining the Community Stack and providing new versions, primarily to the technology producers for integration into their solutions and products. This kind of functional core offers the option to quickly respond to new PROFINET or TSN versions and has a positive effect on interoperability.
As a demonstration of functional scope and proof of a high degree of interoperability of TSN in PROFINET networks with subscribers from different manufacturers, the marketing working group already created a demonstrator when the TSN work began and is continually expanding it. The newest version of PROFINET over TSN is being presented in an impressive, totally new modularly constructed demonstrator with an even larger variety of products. It clearly shows that seasoned technology producers are concretely implementing PROFINET over TSN and in so doing are making the advantages of TSN capable of being used. Its modular design enables flexible use. The plan is to use the demonstrator at trade fairs, conferences and workshops, such as the Hanover Fair this year. A recently made video provides good insight into the mapped functional scope of the demonstrator.
Single Common Conformance Test Plan to be Available for the IEC/IEEE 60802 TSN Profile for Industrial Automation
The Avnu Alliance, PROFIBUS & PROFINET International, CC-Link Partner Association, ODVA, and OPC Foundation jointly announce that they are collaborating to develop a single conformance test plan for the IEEE/IEC 60802 Time Sensitive Networking (TSN) profile for Industrial Automation. The test plan will be used as a base test by all the participating organizations and made available to the broader Industrial Automation ecosystem. This collaboration contributes towards end user confidence that 60802 conformant devices from different manufacturers which support different automation protocols will coexist reliably at the TSN level on shared networks, including with devices using TSN for applications other than automation.
The focus of the collaboration is to work together towards a jointly agreed and owned test plan for the industrial automation market. This formal collaboration provides value by creating a structure in which all these organizations can work together and exchange ideas towards the end goal of interoperability and coexistence on open, standard networks for all protocols, without needing to establish a separate, formal organization. For convenience, the collaboration activities will be referred to as “TIACC” (TSN Industrial Automation Conformance Collaboration).
The TIACC marks a commitment by these organizations to develop an interoperable ecosystem of devices from different manufacturers to comply with the IEC/IEEE Standards Association 60802 profile and enable end-users to confidently deploy these devices on open, standard networks. The goal is to have the final version of the single, shared test plan available soon after the IEC/IEEE 60802 profile is published.