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Real-time Performance Study of EPA Periodic Data Transmission

Authors: Liu Ning, Zhong Chongquan, Teng Hongfei


EPA (Ethernet for Plant Automation) resolves the nondeterministic problem of standard Ethernet and accomplishes real-time communication by means of micro-segment topology and deterministic scheduling mechanism. This paper studies the real-time performance of EPA periodic data transmission from theoretical and experimental perspective. By analyzing information transmission characteristics and EPA deterministic scheduling mechanism, 5 indicators including delivery time, time synchronization accuracy, data-sending time offset accuracy, utilization percentage of configured timeslice and non-RTE bandwidth that can be used to specify the real-time performance of EPA periodic data transmission are presented and investigated. On this basis, the test principles and test methods of the indicators are respectively studied and some formulas for real-time performance of EPA system are derived. Furthermore, an experiment platform is developed to test the indicators of EPA periodic data transmission in a micro-segment. According to the analysis and the experiment, the methods to improve the real-time performance of EPA periodic data transmission including optimizing network structure, studying self-adaptive adjustment method of timeslice and providing data-sending time offset accuracy for configuration are proposed.

Keywords: EPA system, Industrial Ethernet, Periodic data, Real-time performance

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