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OPC UA TSN: a next-generation network for Industry 4.0 and IIoT

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journal contribution
posted on 2022-01-06, 09:26 authored by Hristo Georgiev Trifonov, DONAL HEFFERNANDONAL HEFFERNAN
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to describe how emerging open standards are replacing traditional industrial networks. Current industrial Ethernet networks are not interoperable; thus, limiting the potential capabilities for the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). There is no forthcoming new generation fieldbus standard to integrate into the IIoT and Industry 4.0 revolution. The open platform communications unified architecture (OPC UA) time-sensitive networking (TSN) is a potential vendor-independent successor technology for the factory network. The OPC UA is a data exchange standard for industrial communication, and TSN is an Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers standard for Ethernet that supports real-time behaviour. The merging of these open standard solutions can facilitate cross-vendor interoperability for Industry 4.0 and IIoT products. Design/methodology/approach – A brief review of the history of the fieldbus standards is presented, which highlights the shortcomings for current industrial systems in meeting converged traffic solutions. An experimental system for the OPC UA TSN is described to demonstrate an approach to developing a three layer factory network system with an emphasis on the field layer. Findings – From the multitude of existing industrial network schemes, there is a convergence pathway in solutions based on TSN Ethernet and OPC UA. At the field level, basic timing measurements in this paper show that the OPC UA TSN can meet the basic critical timing requirements for a fieldbus network. Originality/value – This paper uniquely focuses on the specific fieldbus standards elements of industrial networks evolution and traces the developments from the early history to the current developing integration in IIoT context.



International Journal of Pervasive Computing and Communications Emerald Publishing Limited;


Emerald Publishing Ltd





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