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TIME-SENSITIVE NETWORKING Why TSN is the future in manufacturing

May 6, 2021

Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN) is a distinctive and ground-breaking technology that can benefit companies to implement futureproof Industry 4.0 applications by noticeably refining industrial Ethernet standards. The opinion feature talks about TSN’s significance in industrial automation and how companies are looking at adopting it.

Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN) is considered to be the future of industrial communications by industry leaders. It will bring data transfer to the next level, empowering Industry 4.0 applications. TSN has the capability to bring diverse parts of an enterprise, such as the Operational Technology (OT) and Information Technology (IT) sectors closer together. While the implementation of TSN is still in its initial periods, with future-oriented businesses keeping up, this technology promises a gigantic prospective for plentiful manufacturing sectors.

TSN has been bringing in a lot of responsiveness in the industrial automation domain due to the increase in interest in the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). In fact, the IEEE 802.1 Time-Sensitive Networking Task Group and the Avnu Alliance are presently working on the TSN standard for industries. From the automotive industry to the food & beverage industry, TSN provides vital rewards for industrial manufacturing, including bandwidth reservation and Quality of Service (QoS) mechanisms – even in real-time and minus proprietary extensions to the standard – as was the case with Ethernet. It shows several benefits to industries, from simplified machine design and developed performance for the converting sector to advanced levels of integration for semiconductor manufacturing. In truth, a report from Global Market Insights last year said that the market size for time-sensitive networking will surpass $1bn by 2026.

Plus, with the snowballing rollout of 5G technology, wireless TSN is becoming a reality, as it provides the low latencies essential for IIoT. In fact, as an example of 5G and TSN integration, Qualcomm Technologies & Bosch Rexroth have also showcased time-synchronised industrial devices over live 5G network in the past. Moreover, with the demand for precision timing & synchronisation in industrial automation systems, the usage of multi-chip proprietary solutions has frequently been necessary, growing both complexity and costs for developers. To help the developers, Microchip announced the SparX-5i, a single-chip IEEE standards-based Ethernet switch family that makes available to the industry a complete TSN feature set.

Automation system builders and end-users are extremely insightful and well-aware of the capabilities of TSN and above all, its capacity to deliver a unified way towards interoperability. Therefore, several companies are keenly looking at embracing this technology. Besides, it is a well-accepted idea that TSN will unquestionably become a must-have in the short- to mid-term. In fact, the widespread roll out of pioneering industrial Ethernet solutions is a matter of when and not if, and businesses are prepared to act right away.

With the emergent fashion headed for converged networks and a surge in demand for bandwidth, TSN is a more economical and future-proof solution than purpose-build networks. It brings different industrial organisations and market leaders together to appreciate the filled capability of Industry 4.0 and digitisation. The driver to Industry 4.0 is additionally placing industrial systems on a strong route to TSN-based technology. At this time, the formation of TSN-based solutions is going through a chapter of progress, and it is positively an exciting time for technology professionals.

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