The emergence of 5G technology has brought a revolution in the way we communicate and interact with technology. One of the most promising developments in this field is the combination of private 5G networks with Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN). This powerful combination is set to bring a paradigm shift in the way industries operate, opening up new possibilities for automation, real-time communication, and enhanced security. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at what private 5G and TSN are, and explore how their integration is poised to change the game for the industry. We will also delve into some of the key benefits that this technology can bring, and examine some of the use cases where it is already being put to work.
To understand why this is such a game changer for the industry, you need to understand what's behind private 5G and TSN.
Private 5G networks refer to wireless networks that are owned and operated by a single organization or entity, rather than being shared by multiple users as with public 5G networks. Private 5G networks are often used by companies or organizations that need to ensure high levels of security, reliability, and performance for their communications, and can be set up to cover a specific area or location. Technically, you can create a private 5G that will be shared by multiple users, like in an airport for example. Private 5G networks can offer several benefits to organizations that need to ensure high levels of security, reliability, and performance for their communications. Some potential advantages of private 5G networks include:
In summary, private 5G networks can provide organizations with a secure and reliable way to communicate and transmit data, with the added flexibility and control that comes with operating their own network infrastructure.
To talk about time-sensitive networking, we first need to talk about Ethernet. While Ethernet speed has improved over time, determinism is another crucial factor of performance. Deterministic networks transmit data precisely with a set latency, whereas Ethernet, based on the "best effort" principle, lacks determinism. Currently, deterministic Ethernet is only available through proprietary solutions, but Time Sensitive Networking (TSN) aims to make Ethernet deterministic by design. TSN refers to a set of IEEE 802 standards that make Ethernet deterministic by default. TSN is an upcoming new technology that sits on Layer 2 of the ISO/OSI Model. It adds definitions to guarantee determinism and throughput in Ethernet networks
The next step is wireless TSN which is a set of standards and technologies that enable real-time communication over a network. TSN ensures that time-critical data is transmitted and received within a specific time frame, and is used in applications where low latency and high reliability are essential, such as in industrial automation, transportation, and healthcare.
Private 5G networks that will incorporate TSN technology can be particularly useful in industries where high levels of coordination and control are required, such as in manufacturing or transportation.
The smart production systems rely on enterprise-wide communication. For industrial use cases, these communication networks need to fulfill certain requirements. In particular, they must guarantee high availability, high throughput, real-time transmission, low latency and low jitter. To meet these requirements, diverse communication technologies have been introduced, such as Ethernet-based solutions such as Profinet.
Profinet is a widely used industrial communication protocol that is based on Ethernet. It is primarily used for connecting industrial automation devices such as programmable logic controllers (PLCs), sensors, and actuators in manufacturing and process control environments. One of the key benefits of private 5G and TSN for Profinet is that it allows for the integration of real-time control and information systems on the same network. This can lead to significant cost savings and increased efficiency in industrial environments.
The good news is that users of Profinet have nothing to do to prepare to switch to wireless TSN. Because it is built on a broadly adopted commercial standard like Ethernet, Profinet rides the evolution to higher speeds and other features, like TSN. When the time comes, Profinet will use it just like it uses standard Ethernet today.
One example of an industrial use case for Profinetis in motion control systems. In traditional motion control systems, the devices are connected to a separate real-time control network in order to ensure deterministic communication. With Profinet, motion control devices can be connected to the same network as other automation devices, eliminating the need for a separate network and reducing costs.
Another example is in energy production, Profinet can be used to synchronize the communication between wind turbines and between the wind turbine and the grid.
In addition to cost savings and increased efficiency, TSN can also improve the overall performance of industrial systems by enabling faster and more accurate control of devices. The time synchronization features of TSN make it well suited for applications that require precise coordination between multiple devices, such as in robotics and industrial automation, where high-speed and high-precision movement of multiple robotic axes are needed for a smooth, efficient and error-free operation.
With private 5G networks, industries can move their operations into a wireless world. There are several advantages of using wireless Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN) over an Ethernet-based network in industrial environments:
When private 5G meets time-sensitive networking, this will allow for a more efficient and secure way to manage data. Time-sensitive networking provides the necessary quality of service for time-critical applications by dynamically managing network resources, while private 5G helps to improve response time and avoid disruptions. That is what happened with the stic5G consortium (Safe TSN for Industrial-Grade Real-Time Campus 5G). Airbus will make use of the results to improve its internal production line. Due to the convergence of IT and OT as well as due to the higher connectivity an increasing efficiency is expected, with no additional cabling, PROFINET capable network infrastructure (switches, …), and transparent connectivity for all machines.