Controlling and regulating high-dynamic production systems reliably is still a challenge for many companies. In order to provide support here, edge and cloud systems are becoming increasingly important in this area, but there is often still a lack of equipment and infrastructure to integrate machines and plants into digital IT landscapes.
Together with partners from the fields of mechanical engineering, network technology and robotics, the Fraunhofer IPT is now developing an end-to-end real-time-capable communication infrastructure based on 5G and Time Sensitive Networking (TSN) in the 5G-Comet project. Time Sensitive Networking is a set of standards developed by the Time-Sensitive Networking Task Group that enable data transmission with low latencies and high reliability. These TSN standards will now be combined with 5G mobile technology to create an overall system with real-time capability, with the aim of creating highly available, reliable and secure communication between all components and modules: From sensors and actuators at the field level via 5G and TSN-capable networks to the Fraunhofer Edge Cloud (FEC).
Initial application scenarios are being tested with real-time control of robot-assisted laser machining and assembly processes:
In the laser machining use case, a robot with a special tool provides complex three-dimensional surfaces with textures, engravings and markings. To determine the exact position of the robot and laser tool during operation, both components must be precisely controlled - this requires high computing capacities, which a factory cloud can provide. The end-to-end TSN network with low-latency data transmission ensures that all individual systems can respond quickly and without delay. The wireless connection of the structuring tool with 5G also allows modular and flexible use of the tool.