Cisco Canada Blog

TSN. For Canadian manufacturers, it’s not just a television network.

April 27, 2017

This week at Hannover Messe, the world’s biggest industrial fair, we announced that Cisco is bringing the power of real time data to manufacturing.

If you’re asking – “But wait, didn’t I already have real-time data on my factory floor?” – you’re right…and wrong.

The reality is that data is available on the factory floor. In fact, there’s probably too much data being created by your equipment and devices. But due to legacy, air-gapped Operational Technology (OT) networks, there hasn’t be a simple way to make all that data communicate with each other.

Put another way – imagine the machines on your factory floor are homes. Each resides on a street next to the other machines within its OT network. These streets are all located near each other, but don’t connect – think of each as a closed cul-de-sac. Traffic cannot go between them. What’s missing is the road that connects those streets together, allowing traffic (or, in this case, data) to travel freely.

Cue Time Sensitive Networking (TSN), an Ethernet solution based on open standards.

By providing a common communications pathway for your machines, TSN enables a single, open Ethernet network across the factory floor so that manufacturers can access data with ease and efficiency. It opens up critical control applications such as robot control, drive control, and vision systems to the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) – making it possible for manufacturers to identify areas for optimization and cost reduction. And it does so while protecting critical traffic.

Related: Are Canadian manufacturers ready for Industry 4.0?

At Hannover, we announced that Cisco supports TSN on our Industrial Ethernet 4000 Series Switches. If you aren’t familiar with these switches, here’s some geek speak: This ruggedized DIN rail mounted switch operates without a fan, making it ideal for small enclosures, dusty environments, and noiseless operation. The IE4000 also supports Layer 3 dynamic IP routing functionality as well multicast routing.


In other words, IE4000 switches are purpose-built for your factory floor to better prepare industrial networks of the future. And now, they will be even more powerful in helping you collect, analyze, and act upon the data your machines create.

So when you hear the letters TSN, don’t think of Dan and Jay. Think instead about the data you could be gathering from your factory floor, and how you could be using it to prevent unplanned downtime and improve utilization (…then think about Dan and Jay. They are pretty great.)

Get more information on our Industrial Ethernet switches now.

Leave a comment