Industrial Communications Workshop: Unleashing the Power of TSN

The influence of commercial information technologies (IT) on industrial architectures is stronger than ever, driven by the requirements of Industrie 4.0 and the Industrial Internet of Things ((IoT).  As industrial devices become more intelligent and better connected, the amount of data they share grows exponentially.  Do current industrial networks offer sufficient performance and openness to handle these new requirements?  Or will they be replaced by a single, IEEE-conform next based on truly open standards?

OPC UA is a broad portfolio of communications protocols developed by a neutral organization with a focus on industrial applications.  Time Sensitive Networking (TSN) is an IEEE-developed technology for ensuring deterministic behavior on Ethernet.  Together, the two technologies are at the heart of efforts to unify existing Ethernet-based industrial networks into a single, vendor-neutral solution.  However, not all players agree with the pace of development, and there is risk that efforts could split into several camps. 

In this workshop, we will address these questions:

  1. Will OPC US and TSN eventually replace existing industrial networks, or will current networks simply add support for these new technologies?
  2. Are OPC UA and TSN finished and ready to implement?  What technical barriers remain?
  3. In what timeframe can we expect to see a finished OPC and TSN-compatible network emerge?  When will suppliers offer the first products?
  4. If a single network emerges in the future, what group or body will manage the specification?  Who will provide conformance testing?