The Industrial Internet Consortium Announces TSN Testbed Plugfest Successes and Expansion

By Chantal Polsonetti

Company and Product News

The Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) announces the ongoing success of the plugfest series of the Time Sensitive Networking (TSN) Testbed and the expansion of the TSN Testbed to Europe.  At the March 2017 IIC Member Meeting, in Reston, Virginia, the TSN Testbed received top ranking in the Testbed Showcase, an opportunity for IIC testbed leaders to present and be judged by their peers on the strategic value of their testbeds.

TSN is a deterministic enhancement to Ethernet, a foundational piece of the Internet of Things (IoT).  The TSN Testbed applies TSN technology to a range of manufacturing automation and control vendors to display the new capabilities and value.  Three key capabilities form its core:

  1. Time Synchronization
  2. Sending Scheduled Traffic Flows
  3. Central, Automated System Configuration


The TSN Testbed is enabling the early phase usage of enhancements to Ethernet standards IEEE 802.1 and IEEE 802.3.

All TSN Testbed work is communicated to IEEE and Avnu, a standards organization developing the interoperability and certification based on the IEEE’s TSN.  It is used to display OPC UA enabled vendor independent interoperability of real-time data and other industrial automation protocols (e.g. ODVA’s EtherNet/IP) on the same network with typical IT voice/video data.

Plugfests are face-to-face events where participants gather to test the interoperability of their enhanced products and technology.  The fifth plugfest took place February 27- March 1 in Austin, Texas at the NI Industrial IoT Lab, testing, for example:

  • Synchronizing devices to a common, precise sense of time delivered over the network
  • Establishing TSN flows between various vendors
  • Communicating input/output traffic via TSN flows
  • Demonstrating TSN’s ability to protect critical flows from high-bandwidth traffic


The most recent plugfest took place March 16-17 near Frankfurt, Germany.  The testbed in Europe, established at the Bosch Rexroth development site for IoT related control and communication solutions in Erbach, shall enable more companies to participate in the plugfests and join the testbed.  Results from this latest plugfest will be demonstrated at both the IIC booth and the OPC UA booth at Hannover Messe (HMI) 2017.  Some testbed participants will also have TSN displays in their respective booths at HMI.

TSN Testbed participants include IIC members Analog Devices, Belden/Hirschmann, Bosch Rexroth, B&R Industrial Automation, Cisco, Hilscher, KUKA, National Instruments, Renesas Electronics, Schneider Electric, SICK AG, TTTech, and Xilinx.  Other participants include Calnex, Ixia, ISW – Stuttgart University, and Phoenix Contact.

ARC's latest report, Industrial Ethernet Switches Global Market Research Study, quantifies and forecasts the market potential for TSN in industrial Ethernet switches:

About the Industrial Internet Consortium
The Industrial Internet Consortium is the world’s leading organization, transforming business and society by accelerating the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).  Their mission is to deliver a trustworthy IIoT in which the world’s systems and devices are securely connected and controlled to deliver transformational outcomes.

Keywords: Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC), Internet of Things (IoT), Manufacturing Automation, Industrial Automation Protocols, TSN Flows, ARC Advisory Group.


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