Deterministic network technologies for motion control

Engineering Industry News

When looking at demanding applications, such as motion control, data needs to be transferred with high accuracy and reliability to meet strict cycle times. Ultimately, to be highly synchronized and truly effective, motion control systems require deterministic network performance.

Deterministic network technologies for motion control (iStock-1022892534)

Up until recently, standard Ethernet did not offer deterministic capabilities per se. Therefore, determinism in industrial automation could only be achieved in two ways. It could be established by controlling all the devices communicating on a network, essentially closing the network to unknown traffic that can impact determinism. It could also be set by selecting a network technology that could guarantee deterministic performance through key protocols and topologies.

Recently, the introduction of Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN) standards has updated the capabilities of industrial Ethernet to make it deterministic, eliminating the need to implement non-standardized strategies. When looking at motion control applications, open network technologies with TSN functions are helping companies reach new heights in a number of ways.

Firstly, an open network technology that incorporates TSN, such as CC-Link IE TSN, is able to support the need for increasingly shorter cycle times, enabling faster operations while ensuring quality and uptime. Secondly, it is helping machine developers and users incorporate an unprecedented number of axes within a system and its motion control network, supporting the development of more advanced setups.

This type of open network solution can also help to enable the digital transformation of business by driving convergence. It can accommodate the coexistence of both deterministic traffic with extreme performance characteristics, such as motion control, and TCP/IP traffic of all kinds for general purpose communications. Therefore, a TSN-based technology offers a solid foundation for smart, interconnected factories that leverage data to generate business intelligence, enhancing flexibility, responsiveness and ultimately improving decision making.

Currently, CC-Link IE TSN is leading the market in driving the adoption of TSN in industry. This is the first solution to leverage gigabit Ethernet, and the key TSN standards for time synchronization and traffic shaping. The network technology is widely used, offering a broad development ecosystem for the creation of compatible industrial automation devices and a multitude of products that can be used to futureproof factory operations.

CC-Link Partner Association (CLPA)