Hirose: Connecting the future
Industrial Ethernet Book Issue 100 / 5
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Premiere for Sercos TSN demonstrator at Hannover Fair

Sercos International presented a Sercos TSN demonstrator for the first time at Hannover Fair.

The Time Sensitive Networking demonstrator was created by the Institute for Control Engineering of Machine Tools and Manufacturing Units (ISW, University of Stuttgart) with support of several industry partners. It illustrates a real-time and multiprotocol-capable network infrastructure based on TSN for automation technology.

The demonstrator includes a TSN-based Sercos III SoftMaster with a Soft CNC from Industrielle Steuerungstechnik GmbH (ISG), communicating with Sercos III servo drives from Bosch Rexroth via Hirschmann Automation TSN switches. Through the TSN network infrastructure, video streams of a webcam were transmitted to a remote display in parallel with the servo communication, without impairing the characteristics and functionality of the Sercos real-time communication.

Ethernet standard IEEE 802.1 brings with it mechanisms that ensure open, real-time-capable communication and also support high, future data rates. A key aspect here is the IEEE 802.1Q standard, which specifies the division of physical networks into several logically separated, prioritized virtual networks (VLANs). In turn, the VLAN priorities enable optimized scheduling of the packages from all virtual networks, with transmission safety and a deterministic latency. To create a uniform time base in the entire network and to transfer the traffic classes within synchronous time slots, mechanisms from IEEE 802.1-AS / IEEE 1588 (distributed clock synchronization) and IEEE 802.1Qbv (time-multiplex procedure) are used.

The aim in designing the demonstrator was to expand a typical setup consisting of a numerical control and drives by adding an interposed, real-time-capable network. A key element was the integration of the Precision Time Protocol (PTP) according to IEEE 1588 into the control, so that all network participants use a uniform time base.

In the analysis of the real-time behavior, it was shown that the errors in the time synchronization were restricted to a two-digit nanosecond range. With this analysis, it could be demonstrated that the synchronization,which is also contained in the TSN standard as IEEE 802.1-AS, achieves accuracy sufficient for demanding motion applications.

Industry 4.0-capable demos

The Sercos group also showed an Industry 4.0 demonstrator on how process and device data can be made available, not just locally via the real-time bus, but also via OPC UA for a whole range of different application scenarios in a uniform and cross-manufacturer manner. This potentially makes data exchange between machine peripherals and IT systems easier, and would offer support for Industry 4.0 semantic interoperability.

Multi-protocol capabilities could make various implementation options possible at the same time. One possibility is that OPC UA server functionality could be integrated into a machine control. In this application case, the control would act as a gateway in which the mapping onto Sercos services and data could be implemented.

With Sercos III, it is also possible to integrate an OPC UA server directly into a Sercos field device (drive, I/O station or sensor). The OPC protocol is routed directly to the relevant Sercos slave device and the gateway functionality of the control is reduced to the function of an Ethernet switch.

Industry news by Sercos International.

Source: Industrial Ethernet Book Issue 100 / 5
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