In the TSN laboratory IMMS investigates technological limits in the development of data-intensive industrial real-time applications. Photograph: IMMS.
In the TSN laboratory IMMS investigates technological limits in the development of data-intensive industrial real-time applications. Photograph: IMMS.


Research Platform for Data-intensive Real-Time Cyber-physical Production Systems

In the Time Sensitive Networking (TSN) laboratory which it set up in 2017, IMMS is exploring the technological limits to the creation of data-intensive industrial real-time applications.

Individual components hold up the industrial Internet

In the digitisation of production and business processes, close digital networking of physical processes in real time is necessary, and so-called CPPS (cyberphysical production systems) with scalable platforms for data processing must be the result. These CPPSs combine to form an industrial Internet, the technological foundation underlying new digital services and business models and, indeed, Industry 4.0 in general.

However, particularly in data-intensive real-time applications, CPPSs still come up against the technological limits set primarily by restricted bandwidths and possible low communication and data processing capacity in individual components that form part of the overall architecture.

Among the data-intensive applications requiring large amounts of data to be recorded, transmitted and processed in real time are in-process quality control and continuous monitoring and diagnosis of the status of machinery. Other data-intensive tasks are virtual imaging of real processes or ensuring safety and security, as is necessary in human-robot collaboration.

TSN laboratory equipped as research platform

It is for these reasons that the TSN lab has been set up at IMMS with an extensive infrastructure funded by the ”Land“ of Thüringen. On this research platform, IMMS will carry out fundamental investigations of both system architectures and hardware and software technology, fully exploring with reference to this particularly demanding class of industrial applications, the laboratory will investigate design issues for the essential TSN components: time synchronisation, rules for network packages and rules for communication paths.

The platform contains all necessary components: different types of sensor, edge devices for data pre-processing, communication modules for real-time data transmission, powerful servers as a local cloud where large amounts of data can be processed, the various software licenses and items of laboratory equipment. It is scalable and flexible with regard to the hardware and software technologies used.

Research on systems for Industry 4.0 in the TSN laboratory at IMMS

In particular, the platform supports IMMS research into ”real-time communication“, the technological continuity communication between sensors and internet-based data processing platforms. Here, the investigation is of ”edge computing“, the recording and [pre-]processing of data from multi-channel sensors with high data rates and high resolution using energy-efficient embedded systems; also, of ”edge devices“ involved in time-synchronous and low-latency vertical and horizontal networking between embedded systems and cloud data processing servers. The laboratory also tests in real time the processing and visualisation of high-resolution sensor data and the information generated from it.

The equipment is used for research work in the FAST realtime, AgAVE and Ko2SiBus projects and serves, besides, as an experimental and demonstration platform. It is also available as an Industry 4.0 test laboratory for the benefit of manufacturers of sensors and automation components and is an essential component of the I4KMU test environment at IMMS.

  • Funding

    The TSN project ”Research Platform for Data-intensive Real-Time Cyber-physical Production Systems“ is funded by the “Land” of Thüringen under the reference 2017 FGI 0006.


seit 2017


2017 FGI 0006