by Todd Walter, Chief Marketing Manager, DAQ and Control Group, National Instruments
On October 16, The Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) and Avnu Alliance (Avnu) announced that they will liaison to work together to align efforts to maximize interoperability, portability, security and privacy for the industrial Internet. This move signifies the progression of Time Sensitive Networking in the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) – through joint efforts, both organizations are looking to raise awareness and drive forward wider adoption of around open standards like TSN as a future-proof networking solution for IIoT applications.
Both Avnu and IIC have a strong foothold in IIoT networking. In 2009, the Alliance was formed as a direct response to the prevalence of varied Ethernet-based network protocols and the development of AVB (later referred to as TSN) from the IEEE 802.1 task group with the mission of driving forward open-standards based deterministic networking through certification. Now, in 2017, members of the Industrial segment are driving forward interoperability for TSN devices across the Industrial market through test plans, testing tools, open source software and more. Avnu members have recently published the “Theory of Operation for TSN-enabled Industrial Systems” best practices document, which describes the system architecture and requirements for an industrial model to enable multiple industry group, vendors and protocols to share a TSN network. The National Instruments Industrial IoT lab was also developed to foster collaboration between IIoT leaders to improve interoperability and serve as a working showcase for the latest IIoT technologies, solutions and system architecture such as TSN. Also housed in this lab is the on-site IIC TSN testbed.
As the world’s first testbed for TSN, the TSN testbed was developed with two major goals – to show TSN’s readiness to accelerate the marketplace; and to show the business value of accelerating the adoption of TSN. It stands as a showcase of the value to that TSN standards and the ecosystem of manufacturing applications bring to the market, including the ability for IIoT to incorporate high-performance and latency-sensitive applications. IIC member participants include key industry leaders like: Analog Devices, Belden/Hirschmann, Bosch Rexroth, B&R, Cisco, Hilscher, Intel, KUKA, National Instruments, OPC Foundation, Renesas Electronics, Schneider Electric, SICK, TTTech and Xilinx – many of which are also Avnu Alliance members. The work coming out of the TSN Testbed is already having a direct impact on suppliers and manufacturers who see the technology as a value add for their system structure.
Under the agreement, both the IIC and Avnu have agreed to participate in joint activities such as continuing to refine and add use-cases and products to the IIC testbed, as well as identifying and sharing IIoT best practices, realizing interoperability by harmonizing architecture and other elements, and collaborating on standardization.
As awareness surrounding Internet of Things (IoT) standardization continues to grow, more eyes are being drawn to interoperability and network infrastructure solutions. In working together to help drive industry awareness surrounding the benefits of TSN, Avnu and IIC hope to maximize industry interoperability between IIoT systems, while increasing portability, security and privacy for the industrial Internet now, and into the future. Raising awareness about the value of TSN is a part of this effort, with an end goal of prompting more manufacturers to join the effort to add certified TSN systems to expedite advanced networking implementations which create new business opportunities such as predictive maintenance business models, better visibility in the capital-to-operations expense (CAPEX to OPEX) transformation process, and faster time to market for product development.
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