Workshop #1: Real-Time Ethernet Solutions  ( Real-Time Ethernet Solutions )

The workshop will be held on Thursday 16th, 2010 in the Factulty of Engineering of the University of the Basque Country, UPV/EHU.

We can register at the workshop using the registration page of the conference (link).

PROFINET IO and EtherCAT are two of the leading industrial Ethernet solutions. Like many other so-called Real-Time-Ethernet protocols they are defined in IEC 61158 / IEC 61784-2 and are used in various practical applications in industrial automation. PROFINET IO is supported by the PROFIBUS organization and due to its association with Siemens, the world’s largest supplier of PLC’s which will integrate PROFINET as a standard, expected to become a key market player in the next few years. PROFINET is a relatively complex protocol which combines three separate “brand names” with many common features but differences in performance.

EtherCAT is currently a market leading technology in the Real-time Ethernet domain offering high real-time performance combined with a wide set of functionality. The initiator and main developer has been the company Beckhoff which has become a significant vendor of advanced equipment for industrial automation. The EtherCAT technology now has broad support and involvement by many companies.

Both the PROFINET IO and the EtherCAT technologies continuously evolve and add features and functionality. This workshop will aim at providing an updated status on these two main competing technologies. Both protocols have many interesting features around issues such as time synchronization, determinism, efficiency, redundancy, integration etc. and have a lot of potential for applied and derived research. Besides presenting the technologies in detail another goal of the workshop is to discuss and point at areas where the academic community can contribute to further development.

Specifically the workshop will look at the following topics:
  • Overview of the PROINET IO-System: PROFINET I/O covers RT and IRT technologies. Like most RTE protocols PROFINET is composed of several “parts”. The first is bandwidth management (layer1-layer2) the second is the layer3-7 software that handles connection and session management as well as application interfacing. This section will also detail PROFINET IRT including its latest performance enhancing optimizations.
  • Solutions for plant-control applications/machine-control applications: With the different “branding” within PROFINET comes different application domains, this section will detail the plant-control and machine control domains. Of interest to all researchers is the interaction with wireless technologies which will be covered here as well
  • Solutions for motion-control applications: Motion control applications require higher performance than machine/plant control applications.
  • Overview of the EtherCAT technology: This section will present the EtherCAT technology in detail with special focus on how the real-time performance has been realized. The various types of functionality found in EtherCAT will be presented. New developments within the technology will also be covered.
A comparison between PROFINET and EtherCAT will be done covering determinism and performance aspects as well as issues such as synchronization, configuration and integration.

The second goal is to encourage debate and research on various topics in the research community pertaining to both RTE in general and PROFINET and EtherCAT in particular. To this end the presenters will detail the current research landscape – what has been the current focus and what could be focused in the coming years. Whilst the final list of debatable topics is not finished the authors have identified various areas which need to be looked at more closely. These include the varying scheduling systems amongst RTE systems; Scheduling is often done on proprietary tool level – suited to machine and factory floor systems but not necessarily for the use of these protocols in other areas of industry and not necessarily amenable to ad-hock adaptation. A set of acceptable performance indicators need to be defined – a difficult task since not only do commercial aspects have to be taken into account but also the relevance and scope of possible indicators needs to be carefully considered. Further the presenters will identify other pertinent topics and put them forward for debate.

  • Hans Dermot Doran, Institute of Embedded Systems, Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Switzerland
  • Max Felser, Laboratory of industrial Networks, Bern University of Applied Sciences, Burgdorf, Switzerland
  • Gunnar Prytz, Manager Network Technologies group, ABB Corporate Research, Norway
16th September
Full day
Time: Title/Speaker(s):
09:00 - 10:30 Overview of Real-Time Ethernet solutions
IEC Standards, Short overview of Ethernet Powerlink, SERCOS III and EtherNet/IP
Max Felser, Hans Doran and Gunnar Prytz

Overview of PROFINET IO System
Application Classes, Application Relations and Communication Relations, 
integration of wireless
Max Felser
10:30 - 11:00 Coffe Break
11:00 - 12:30 Solutions for motion-control applications
Synchronization of time, Isochronous Real-Time (IRT), Framing, Optimisations and
their implementations
Hans Doran

12:30 - 13:30 Lunch Break
13:30 - 15:00 EtherCAT
Principles, Features, Performance, Market status and applications, Recent
Gunnar Prytz

15:00 - 15:30 Coffe Break
15:30 - 17:00 Comparing PROFINET and EtherCAT with other RTE protocols
Synchronisation, RT performance, Asynchronous performance
Max Felser, Hans Doran and Gunnar Prytz

Open session with presentation of relevant research topics and debate on various issue

Max Felser, Hans Doran and Gunnar Prytz

Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 September 2010 13:40