Why adopting TSN connectivity is catching on

Why are the leading automation suppliers adopting one open ethernet networking technology in their quest for interconnected businesses? Jeremy Shinton, Product Manager at Mitsubishi Electric explains the business benefits and why Mitsubishi is implementing TSN connectivity.

As markets become more competitive, companies with agile manufacturing operations can introduce products to market faster than other industry players. Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN) is a network technology that helps businesses create interconnected intelligent factories. It does this by enhancing the capabilities of standard Ethernet, providing the network connectivity needed.

For example, TSN connectivity synchronises devices with extreme accuracy and uses the IEEE 802.1 standards to enable scheduled network traffic and the prioritisation of the most urgent time-critical messages while avoiding data collisions.

In practice, these two major characteristics offer businesses the determinism and reliability required by the Operational Technology (OT) domain. Applications include closed-loop processes and motion control, where low latency and avoidance of jitter are critical. Furthermore, TSN connectivity can also merge other types of traffic, such as Information Technology (IT) data, onto the same network.

TSN connectivity delivering intelligence.

Thanks to these features, TSN-compatible automation devices are also providing users with the tools to benefit from the convergence of IT and OT. This level of connectivity can turn into a cascade of benefits by delivering actionable insights to improve processes enabled by data availability, transparency, and interconnectivity.

For example, within a single packaging machine, it is possible to combine devices such as robots, vision, remote I/O and RFID readers and printers within the same network topology. Moreover, it can then send the production data to higher level systems using the same network.

This allows businesses to generate comprehensive insights into their activities and develop cooperative ways of working through higher-level enterprise systems. These capabilities, in turn, enhance strategic decision-making activities, which benefit from greater responsiveness and empirical evidence.

Businesses can identify and address process bottlenecks or inefficiencies to improve productivity and automate decision making using intelligent control setups. Machines can also self-regulate their processes based on the results returned from advanced data analytics.

Convergence and its advantages are the reason TSN-compatible devices are becoming key enablers of IIoT and smart manufacturing applications. In practice, applications can only succeed if supported by a reliable and accessible framework to collect, integrate, and contextualise data.

TSN connectivity delivering convergence.

Advanced automation components with TSN connectivity, such as the drives and controls offered by Mitsubishi Electric, are a pillar of futureproof manufacturing strategies. At the same time as looking ahead, these devices also ensure support for existing setups by providing backwards compatibility. This means that companies can upgrade legacy systems and seize the opportunities offered by these state-of-the-art devices without hesitation.

By adopting TSN connectivity driven solutions, businesses can increase the flexibility and efficiency of their operations to keep ahead of the competition.



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