INDUSTRIAL CONTROL & MONITORING

Industrial applications range from machine control, health-care, and robotics to power generation, process control, and transportation. Each of these areas employ embedded processing to perform closed loop autonomous control, have high availability requirements, and are highly software defined. In these applications the designers take advantage of the advancements in processing, communications, software, and system design originating from the consumer world. On top of this foundation they typically make additions or modification to meet the performance, longevity, and reliability needs of their industry.

One area where modifications are often required is for distributed coordinated communications. Much of industry transitioned to using an Ethernet physical layer in the early 2000s. However unless strict traffic and access controls are implemented, standard Ethernet is unable to guarantee network latency. This makes it inappropriate for closed loop control where latency and reliability are paramount. To work around this limitation, common practice is installation of dedicated Ethernet networks (sometimes with multiple islanded networks running side by side in the same machine) or the use of modified network hardware layers to support bounded low latency network traffic.

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As engineers optimize industrial productivity, control systems complexity has grown. Increasing network capabilities and software abstractions make system design more automated and easier to implement.

Better Data Access For New Designs

Today system designers are investing to incorporate IoT concepts into their systems to increase productivity, increase up-time, and improve other key performance indicators. Techniques such as remote system management and maintenance, centralized data collection for big data analytics, and in-built self organizing machine to machine coordination, promise to radically advance next generation industrial control and monitoring systems. To support these capabilities, industrial designers need reliable, converged, remote, secure access to all the components and devices in their designs. This requires fundamental improvements to standard Ethernet so that it will concurrently support both industrial control needs and IoT connectivity and data access.

 

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Industrial applications such as machine control require bandwidth, timing, latency, openness, and compliance with IT standards. Standard Ethernet is being updated to enable these capabilities.

A More Capable Ethernet

Industrial suppliers, IT vendors, and silicon providers are collaborating in IEEE 802 and Avnu to create updates to standard Ethernet which will provide:

  • Bounded, low latency data transfer for control
  • Shared synchronized time
  • High bandwidth
  • Convergence of control traffic and standard Ethernet traffic
  • Security enhancements aligned with IT standards

These improvements will enable a single network to support reliable multi-kHz closed loop control and dynamic un-managed standard Ethernet traffic. Because these capabilities are being incorporated in the core Ethernet standard, these upgrades promise broad adoption, increased flexibility, increased bandwidth, multi-vendor interoperability, and decreased cost.

What the industry is saying

“It is incredibly important for GE to support and stay up to date on the evolving open standards in the industrial control market. Since Avnu Alliance is the only community consortium driving the expansion of AVB and TSN standards, we are excited to join and offer our expertise to the efforts. Avnu certification will ensure interoperability across multi-vendor solutions and our continued contribution to the TSN standards will help us deliver the next generation of reliable networked products to our customers… Our work with TSN better enables our customers to easily and rapidly create innovative next generation control systems transmitting real time traffic.”

John Garrity, Product Line Leader for General Electric Intelligent Platforms.

 

“TSN promises through standard silicon to converge the previously disparate technologies needed for standard Ethernet communication, for deterministic high speed data transfer, and for high accuracy time synchronization. These developments will create a common foundation that will impact numerous applications and markets ranging from machine control and asset monitoring to test cells and vehicle control.  Key technology and equipment providers to the industrial market are supporting the effort. National Instruments is happy to collaborate within the solid ecosystem that Avnu Alliance is building.”

Mike Santori, Vice President Product Marketing, National Instruments.

 

“IEEE and Avnu Alliance’s work to bring open standards to industrial applications provides a great venue to amplify Belden’s long history of standards work, and we recognize the immense value open standards offer to our customers. TSN technology shows promise to be the core technology for high-end industrial Ethernet communications in the future, solving challenges faced by our customers in demanding, high-performance and high-precision industries, like motion control, robotics and high-speed manufacturing. Our plan for joining with the Alliance aligns well with our long-standing work in bringing innovation, standardization and awareness to the industrial market for new and emerging open standards.”

Andreas Dreher, Strategic Technology Manager, Belden.

 

“As a founding member of Avnu Alliance, Intel is committed to advancing open standards that deliver time-sensitive communication. This is particularly important for cyber-physical-systems where multiple compute nodes cooperate to control physical systems ranging from industrial robots to autonomous vehicles and smart buildings. Intel has been a leader in this industry for more than two decades and we look forward to seeing the new opportunities TSN will bring to our customers.”

Anthony Neal-Graves, Vice President, Internet of Things Group, Intel.

 

“As a founding member of Avnu Alliance, Broadcom has been involved in the support of a variety of evolving market segments and expansion into the industrial control space is the next natural move for the Alliance. As the industrial market continues to expand, Avnu Alliance will become an important driver in the interoperability and certification of networked devices and ensuring the deployment of reliable solutions in global markets.”

Nicholas Ilyadis, Broadcom CTO, Infrastructure & Networking Group.

 

“This new segment is very exciting for the Alliance. Adding new members who are from this space and the evolution of the standards makes Avnu Alliance and Time Sensitive Networking poised for rapid growth in this market. As a founding member, Cisco’s contribution to Avnu Alliance will help guide the expansion and the standards work being done within the industrial segment.”

Kip Compton, VP and General Manager of the Internet of Things (IoT) Systems and Software Group, Cisco.

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