History of the Collaboration
While there have been many conversations around this topic, representatives from a majority of the major industrial automation conformance organizations have been trying to solve the problem of TSN conformity since early 2016. The representatives performed an exhaustive search of existing organizations before deciding that this activity with this structure was the best approach. Avnu was chosen through consensus to be the formal home of the activity in early 2021. In early 2022, the Avnu, CLPA, ODVA, OPCF and PI Organizations agreed to formally collaborate under the TSN Industrial Automation Conformance Collaboration (TIACC) to complete the work of Conformity Assessment according to IEC/IEEE 60802.
Goals of the Collaboration
Avnu, CLPA, ODVA, OPCF and PI have joined together in a collaboration to develop a single common conformance test plan for the IEC/IEEE 60802 profile of TSN for Industrial Automation. By working together, these Organizations are committed to providing end users with confidence that their IEC/IEEE 60802 compliant devices will coexist fairly at the TSN level on shared networks, regardless of differences in manufactures or differing supported automation protocols.
TSN Industrial Automation Conformance Collaboration (TIACC) is a reference to the united initiatives created by Avnu, CLPA, ODVA, OPCF and PI. Each Organization will continue to exist and operate separately to continue their work in defining networks and communication protocols in the Industrial Automation ecosystem and ensuring device coexistence.
Benefits of the Collaboration
While standards are fundamentally important to the success of industrial automation communications, ensuring that devices comply to those standards in an interoperable manner is equally important. Standards are written with the intent to eliminate ambiguity and create a defined set of conformant implementation(s), but occasionally things are missed or can be interpreted in multiple ways that ultimately don’t work together. Because of the potential for ambiguity, conformity assessment must go hand in hand with standards development. Every major industrial automation player has their own conformity assessment process that has a rich and storied history. As a result, representatives from these organizations realized that TSN would be successful in industrial automation only if the conformity assessment process was common.