TSN Impact on CNC


Time Sensitive Networking (TSN) is a set of IEEE standards for Ethernet networking that enables deterministic communication and guarantees timely delivery of critical data. TSN can be applied to CNC machines to improve their performance, reliability, and safety but more importantly, TSN can be used to integrate and to coordinate with other machines like robots. A good example would be to perform collection detection and avoidance for a load and unload operation.


Time Sensitive Networking (TSN) can provide several benefits to a CNC machining context.

Here are the top 5 benefits of TSN in a CNC machining context:

  1. Improved Accuracy and Precision: CNC machines require real-time control of various parameters such as position, velocity, acceleration, and force, which are critical for the quality of the output. TSN can ensure that these critical parameters are delivered with the required precision and timing, resulting in improved accuracy and precision of the machined parts.
  2. Increased Productivity: TSN can help to reduce downtime and improve the overall efficiency of the CNC machining process. By providing deterministic communication and time synchronization, TSN can help to avoid collisions and ensure that multiple machines operate in a coordinated manner. This can help to increase productivity and reduce cycle times.
  3. Enhanced Safety: CNC machines can be hazardous if they are not operated safely. TSN can help to improve the safety of CNC machines by providing safety-critical communication protocols such as Safety over Ethernet (SoE). SoEcan detect and prevent errors and faults in the network, and provide safety functions such as emergency stop or safe torque off, which can stop the machine in case of a hazard.
  4. Simplified Network Management: TSN can provide a standardized and simplified approach to network management, which can reduce the complexity of CNC machine networks. TSN provides mechanisms for traffic shaping, queuing, and prioritization, which can help to ensure that critical data is delivered on time, every time. This can simplify network management and reduce the likelihood of network congestion.
  5. Future-Proofing: TSN is a standard-based technology that is designed to evolve with future requirements. TSN can provide a future-proofing solution for CNC machine networks by ensuring that they can support emerging technologies and applications. This can help to protect the investment in CNC machines and ensure that they remain relevant in the future.

Key Features

  1. Time Synchronization: TSN requires accurate time synchronization between devices to ensure that data is delivered at the correct time. This is achieved using the Precision Time Protocol (PTP), which is a time synchronization protocol that provides sub-microsecond accuracy.
  2. Traffic Shaping: TSN uses traffic shaping to ensure that critical data is delivered on time, even in the presence of network congestion. Traffic shaping prioritizes critical data over non-critical data, and limits the amount of data that can be transmitted over the network.
  3. Quality of Service (QoS): TSN provides a mechanism for defining different levels of service for different types of traffic. This is achieved using QoS, which allows network administrators to prioritize traffic based on its importance and assign appropriate network resources to each type of traffic.
  4. Stream Reservation Protocol (SRP): TSN uses the Stream Reservation Protocol (SRP) to allocate bandwidth for time-critical data streams. SRP allows devices to reserve a specific amount of bandwidth for their data stream, which helps to ensure that the data is delivered on time.
  5. Time-Aware Shaper (TAS): TSN uses the Time-Aware Shaper (TAS) to manage the queuing of time-critical data. TAS ensures that time-critical data is queued and transmitted in a deterministic manner, which helps to reduce jitter and delay.
  6. Frame Preemption: TSN allows critical data to preempt non-critical data in the event of network congestion. This is achieved using frame preemption, which allows critical data to be given priority over non-critical data, even if it is already in the middle of transmission.