Creating connected industries to realise productivity opportunities

John Browett, general manager at the CC-Link Partner Association (CLPA), looks at the benefits of digitalisation strategies based on TSN-driven IT/OT convergence.

In data-driven smart factories, knowledge is power – and true business knowledge means having a holistic understanding of what is happening across the enterprise to enable more dynamic and agile operations. This can be achieved by merging information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) using network infrastructures that support Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN). By applying this technology to realise network convergence, businesses can create the Connected Industries of the future and boost productivity.

To thrive and prosper in an environment where competition continues to become fiercer, forward-looking companies need to make their operations highly responsive and flexible. This can be achieved by leveraging TSN as an enabling technology for advanced communications. In this way, companies can increase collaboration across machines, facilities and enterprises to better address customer requests and fluctuating demand.

TSN-driven agile manufacturing strategies are a key part of Industry 4.0 applications, which rely on data-driven actionable insights. These insights come from better process visibility, enabled by converging multiple deterministic streams of manufacturing data into a single, cohesive network architecture.

Better, faster, stronger

Moreover, TSN promotes the integration of supervisory IT system data, with operational data used on the OT level. This OT data includes both information used to control physical devices and processes, as well as the results generated, which are the source of the insights mentioned earlier. This opens the door to a range of key benefits. Firstly, it supports process transparency and advanced management, as the convergence offered by TSN strengthens data transfer across the enterprise, providing end users with unprecedented access to data. As a result, they are given insights that can help to improve decision-making.

Secondly, by enabling the optimum management of machines, processes and plants, companies can drive up performance, productivity and efficiency. In particular, a single network that allows the handling of all types of data traffic removes the complexity caused by multiple data types across multiple systems. This typically hampers the ability of operators to identify potential issues. Hence, convergence streamlines troubleshooting, which in turn, reduces the downtime associated with maintenance or repair activities, maximising equipment and process availability.

Leaner designs

As only a single network is required to transfer all data, another substantial advantage is that less equipment is needed to create an interconnected architecture. In addition, any engineering work for the design, configuration and installation of network systems is minimised, shortening the time required to complete factory automation projects.

Even more, any subsequent installation of additional network devices or modifications to the existing setup is simplified. As a result, the flexibility and scalability of production lines and assets can be improved.

While TSN is a recent innovation, companies can already take advantage of this technology, with more and more industry players adopting it to fuel their digital transformation strategies. CC-Link IE TSN, the first open industrial Ethernet that combines gigabit bandwidth with TSN functions, and the broad range of compatible automation products available can help companies realise this journey to improved productivity.

CLPA Europe

Travellers Lane
AL10 8XB

01707 278953 or 02102 486 1750

More products
3 hours ago
Atlas Copco saves precision sheet metal manufacturer over £6,000 a month
When Constant Group, a Manchester-based supplier of sheet metal parts, components, and fully assembled fabrications pieces were let down by their previous service provider for onsite high-pressure nitrogen generation, they turned to Atlas Copco for help.
9 hours ago
Timber plant reduces downtime with NSK linear guides
Thanks to the adoption of NSK’s linear guides with K1 lubrication units, a timber manufacturer managed to reduce conveyor downtime by a factor of more than 12, prompting annual cost savings of more than €77,000.
1 day ago
Renishaw announces investment of over £50 million for UK site
Renishaw is to invest over £50 million at its Miskin site in South Wales to increase manufacturing capacity and to help meet its Net Zero emissions targets.
1 day ago
Manufacturing and Engineering Week opens its doors to innovation
The very first Manufacturing & Engineering Week got off to a flying start at Birmingham’s NEC with 5221 visitors attending over the two-day live event to celebrate the very best of British innovation, creativity and best practice.
1 day ago
HepcoMotion apprentice raises awareness of disabilities
First year manufacturing Apprentice Sky-Elouise Hopkins is keen to raise awareness of having a disability and being an apprentice.
1 day ago
Reliance achieves world first machining success
Reliance Precision Manufacturing has achieved what it believes is a world first – the machining of geared components from a bulk metallic glass (BMG) alloy especially selected and synthesised for space applications.
4 days ago
Yamaha demonstrates the power of robot teamwork
Automatica 2022 saw Yamaha Motor Robotics FA Section demonstrating industrial robots working together autonomously to raise productivity and reduce waste.
4 days ago
Telsonic UK doubles floorspace to meet demand
Despite the numerous challenges which have been present over recent times, brought on by a combination of the pandemic and the changing business landscape, Telsonic UK has not only weathered the storm but has doubled the size of its Poole facility to meet increasing demand for its ultrasonic modules, systems, and ultrasonic automated solutions.
4 days ago
Delta helps packaging manufacturer centralise control of facility
As a result of expansion, a manufacturer of plastic bags for food packaging that operates a factory in Poland decided it had too many machines to continue monitoring and controlling them individually. It turned to Delta for a solution for centralised control and management.
4 days ago
Robot cell increases productivity in pneumatic valve assembly
When CME was approached to develop a fully automated solution for pneumatic valve assembly, a six-axis robot is at the heart of the innovative system.

Login / Sign up