Time Sensitive Networking (TSn) Testbed

The Testbed

We have created two physical instances of the testbed. One is hosted in North America at the headquarters of National Instruments and the second is hosted in Germany at the University of Stuttgart’s Institute for Control Engineering of Machine Tools and Manufacturing Units (ISW). These testbeds are used for plugfest activities where member companies collaborate to test implementations and interoperability. They also serve as standing units where individual companies can work on updates and integration, and they are transported to various industry shows and events.

The testbed documents the value of TSN and provides feedback to the relevant standards organizations (e.g. Avnu, IEEE 802.1 and .3, IEC 60802, ODVA and OPC) on areas of further clarification or improvement.

The testbed displays the following:

  • Combined critical and best-effort traffic flows on a single network based on IEEE 802.1 Time Sensitive Networking
  • Integrate relevant Industrial Automation protocols that adopt TSN, such as the OPC’s United Architecture (UA) Pub-Sub communication
  • Vendor interoperability using standard, converged Ethernet
  • Security architectures in conjunction with critical control traffic and feedback on the secure-ability of initial TSN functions
  • IIoT incorporation of high performance and latency sensitive applications
  • Integration mechanisms and architectures for smart edge-cloud control systems directly connected into flexible manufacturing


Fast Facts

MEMBER Participants:

Bosch Rexroth, Cisco, Fraunhofer IPMS, Ixia, ISW, Kalycito, Moxa, SoC-e, SICK AG, Texas Instruments, TRUMPF, Xilinx


Accessible Engineering Innovation (AEI) Corporation, Analog Devices, Avnu, B&R Automation, Belden/Hirschmann, Calnex, HMS Industrial Networks, InnoRoute, Kontron, Molex, National Instruments, NetTime Logic, Phoenix Contact, Renesas Electronics, Schneider Electric, TSN Systems, TTTech, WAGO


Manufacturing. However, the Time Sensitive Networking (TSN) Testbed is envisioned to be useful in a wide range of applications, including Utilities, Transportation and Oil and Gas. The insights and concepts proven in this testbed may be replicated into several other testbeds in the future.


Manufacturing operations requires tight coordination of sensing and actuation to safely and efficiently perform closed loop control. Typically these systems have been deployed using non-standard network infrastructure or air-gapped (unconnected) standard networks. This approach leaves devices and data much harder to access and creates a technical barrier to IIoT which is predicated on the ability to consume data anywhere throughout the infrastructure.


To address these needs of IIoT all the way to the control system, the IEEE organization has been working to update the standards for Ethernet and wireless (IEEE 802) to support TSN. The technology will be used to support real-time control and synchronization of high performance machines over a single, standard Ethernet network, supporting multi-vendor interoperability and integration. When appropriate, the TSN Testbed will integrate industrial automation protocols which are adopting TSN, such as OPC UA. The TSN Testbed includes such things as developing simple applications and data definitions to be communicated utilizing TSN over OPC UA Pub-Sub, to be implemented by TSN Testbed participants.


TSN will open up critical control applications such as robot control, drive control and vision systems to the industrial internet. This connectivity then enables customers, suppliers and vendors to more readily access data from these systems and to apply preventative maintenance and optimization routines to these systems.

If you have innovative technology that may add value to the testbed and are interested in participating in the plugfest, click here to send an email request.

Interested in learning more about the TSN Testbed? Email us!

Upcoming Plugfest:

  • March 10-13 - ISW - University of Stuttgart (Stuttgart, Germany)