PI (PROFIBUS & PROFINET International) is purposefully driving the subject of Industrie 4.0 and is laying out the steps for future-proof further development of today's proven solutions.
The objective is to identify requirements for communication that are important in the Industrie 4.0 environment and to standardize them as further development of PI technologies. It is already clear today that PROFINET, with its openness for TCP/IP and its standard Ethernet based technology, has a future-proof architecture that forms a basic prerequisite for Industrie 4.0.
Main work is done in the teams of the PI working group „I4.0@PI“ set up for individual topics. The requirements are closely harmonized with the users and the senior experts in the various companies. The combination of requirements and technical possibilities has resulted in the main areas of focus of TSN, IPv6, Semantics, Security and OPC UA.
The following short flyer gives you an overview of the current work of PI on the topic of Industrie 4.0 in general and TSN, Security as well as OPC UA.
PROFINET and OPC UA - easy access to structured machine data
Todays machines and devices generate massive amounts of data. Using an Industrial Ethernet system like PROFINET, this data is accessible for the PLC or DCS. But with Industrie 4.0, there is the need to publish this data to IT systems like MES, Asset- or Condition Management applications as well. Today this requires a lot of configuration effort, manual steps like the handling of long Excel charts and the like to make this data available. Since there is no standardized data semantics specified, often the data is not usable in an economically meaningful way.
For this reason, PI supports OPC UA as a complementing service in PROFINET networks. OPC UA is an object and service oriented architecture which features not only a standardized structure for the transport of data. It actually supports a machine-readable description of the data packages.
The advantage of PROFINET is its openness for further Ethernet traffic. OPC UA can run in parallel without disturbing the cyclic messages. By combining PROFINET and OPC UA, you can have the best of both worlds. Deterministic real-time behavior and semantically structured IT connectivity. Doing so, new business models can be applied and Industrie 4.0 use cases like Predictive Maintenance can be brought to live. This is why PI is fostering a partnership with OPC Foundation for many years now.
TSN - time-sensitive networking
Time-sensitive networking (TSN) is a promising technology drawing a lot of attention at the moment. TSN offers great potential for PROFINET.
It aims to combine the wide range of IT networks with the robustness and determinism of automation networks. In short: hard real-time via standard IT networks. But this doesn’t signal a revolution for PROFINET. Rather, it represents a visionary architecture upon which PROFINET is building.
TSN offers PROFINET a new layer 2 in the ISO/OSI model. Nothing more, nothing less. It thus corresponds to today’s RT and IRT technologies. And this makes it clear that TSN will not simply replace RT or IRT in the coming years. It’s an additional option with a number of benefits. Today’s manufacturers that are providing solutions with RT and IRT will be able to continue providing them in the future. Users employing RT or IRT in operating their systems can be sure that they are using a sustainable technology.
TSN offers now the possibility to achieve this also with standard chip sets, because TSN is based on open standards and many semiconductor vendors will support these standards. Everything else at PROFINET remains unchanged – especially such services as diagnosis, configuration, alarms, etc. This will make it easy for users and device manufacturers alike to use TSN in the future. They can build on existing knowledge and continue using the applications they have developed.
PROFINET based on TSN
Our video shows you what requirements Industrie 4.0 has and how real-time communication with PROFINET based on TSN fullfill it.