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25 - 27 February 2020 // Nuremberg, Germany

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Exhibitors & Products embedded world 2020
Zoom product LOGO_Project: Real-time network (OPC UA PubSub over TSN)

Project: Real-time network (OPC UA PubSub over TSN)

LOGO_Project: Real-time network (OPC UA PubSub over TSN)

Project: Real-time network (OPC UA PubSub over TSN)

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Project: Real-time network (OPC UA PubSub over TSN)

The Ethernet standard and the future evolution of this base communication layer represents today an important standard of interoperable network communication - in fact from sensor via control system up to the server. According to common understanding, this will remain so without doubt in the near and even less near future. To the contrary, there are many doubts that the upper communication layers will remain as they are now, since the required interoperability makes it highly desirable that only a single protocol be used - instead of the more than 50 different ones none of which has reached more than 50 percent market share. In addition, communication methods are needed that have real-time capabilities and require much less resources than today which is an important prerequisite to serve the expected large number of future nodes. The above doubts were obviously more than justified; 21 well-known automation companies that together cover more than 95 percent of the market agreed on SPS IPC Drives 2018 to create a uniform real-time communication system based on OPC UA with Publish/Subscriber Extensions (PubSub) and Time Sensitive Network (TSN). And it was obvious to delegate the task and responsibility to the OPC Foundation to organize standardization and implementation of the new globally binding protocol.

In addition to the standardization of OPC UA PubSub over TSN, it is also necessary to provide freely accessible and fully usable software implementations in order to achieve a general acceptance of the methods. This can best be achieved by using an Open Source license that allows to be linked to proprietary applications. Since this was not the case, a first version of an Open Source implementation of OPC UA was launched without PubSub and TSN in the context of the project "open62541". Further development including the provision of PubSub, and initial tests with TSN then took place in an OSADL community project. The project partners involved a team at the Fraunhofer Institute for Optronics, Systems Engineering and Image Evaluation (Fraunhofer IOSB) and the India-based software integrator and consultant Kalycito Infotech. After completing this project phase, OPC UA with PubSub was available for the first time under an Open Source license suitable for industrial products. However, at least the following components were still missing:

  1. Configuration of TSN endpoints
  2. Generic interface to TSN
  3. Improvement of the real-time capabilities
  4. Support for the certification of individual devices
  5. Extension by a security layer

In order to realize the development activity of these components as part of a community process, a further project phase was organized that was successfully completed at the end of 2019. One of the important results of this project phase was an example server realized with the open62541 software that was certified by OPC Foundation as being compliant with the "micro embedded device server" profile. These properties are available from version 1.0 of the open62541 onward and can be downloaded from the project's homepage www.open62541.org. Whenever used in a product, the license obligations of the Mozilla Public License v2.0 must be fulfilled.

Software development and project management

  • Fraunhofer IOSB
  • Kalycito Infotech
  • Open Source Automation Development Lab (OSADL)

Project participants

  • Balluff GmbH
  • Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG
  • Intel Corporation
  • iss innovative software services GmbH
  • Kontron Europe GmbH
  • Linutronix GmbH
  • Nestfield Co., Ltd
  • Pepperl+Fuchs AG
  • Pilz GmbH & Co. KG
  • Sick AG
  • Siemens AG
  • TQ-Systems GmbH
  • WIKA Mobile Control GmbH & Co. KG
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