The CC-Link Partner Association (CLPA) and PI (PROFIBUS & PROFINET International) are announcing a close collaboration with the objective of promoting and disseminating the use of open industrial networks. As users aspire to be ready for Industry 4.0 or the Industrial Internet of Things based manufacturing systems easy integration of various networks, such as CC-Link IE and PROFINET, is essential for this.
Digital communication using a fieldbus or Industrial Ethernet is already widely used in modern production plants and is an important building block for increasing productivity. The demand for intelligent communication will continue to increase due to megatrends such Industry 4.0 and IIoT. However, the heterogeneous landscape of Industrial Ethernet standards that has existed for years poses the problem that devices and machines of different communication systems are in themselves unable to exchange data. Machine builders are therefore forced to equip their machines with different networks, or plant owners are limited in their selection of suitable machines. Consequently to overcome this there has been a growing need for manufacturer-specific transfer specifications and complicated bespoke converters.
With their cooperation, CLPA and PI aim to enable transparent and easy bi-directional communication between CC-Link IE and PROFINET devices through standardized interfaces. To this end a joint working group is being established to develop the necessary technical specifications to achieve this goal. When work on the specifications is complete, it will be available to members of both organizations for implementation.
”With the CC-Link Partner Association, we have gained a comparable partner whose networks are being used in many industries worldwide,” said Karsten Schneider, Chairman of PI.
”This will give users more flexibility when building their IIoT, Industry 4.0, or e-F@ctory enabled systems,” confirmed Naomi Nakamura, Global Director of CLPA. ”With the combined global network of CLPA offices and PI associations and the large number of available devices from members of both organizations, together we can open up additional markets for our members. As a result, the use of CC-Link IE and PROFINET will grow even faster.”
The CC-Link Partner Association (CLPA) is an international organization with over 2,400 member companies worldwide. The partners’ common objective is promotion and technical development of the family of CC-Link open network technologies with the focus on helping their joint customers achieve their integrated manufacturing aspirations.
CC-Link IE’s 1Gbit performance, ideal for capturing large volumes of data, as well as its flexible topology culminating in its SLMP protocol (Seamless Messaging Protocol) which allows it to span from CC-Link IE and CC-Link to SLMP enabled devices on standard Ethernet, have already been selected as fundamental/core technologies behind total automation initiatives such as Mitsubishi Electric’s e-F@ctory; thus allowing customers to create the infrastructure required to meet the challenges of initiatives such as Industry 4.0, IIoT, China Manufacturing 2025 etc.
The CLPA organization is the driving force behind developing new open standards in industrial communication while also supporting the device development activities of its members as well as certification of those devices as a quality control and maintenance of the open networking environment. In addition the CLPA actively conducts promotional activities on behalf of its members to gain the wider acceptance and use of advanced CC-Link based networking technologies.
The current boards of the CLPA are: 3M, Balluff, Cisco, Cognex, Idec, Mitsubishi Electric, Molex, NEC and Digital (Proface)
[About PI (PROFIBUS and PROFINET International)]
PI (PROFIBUS & PROFINET International) is the largest worldwide operating automation community and responsible for PROFIBUS and PROFINET, the two leading industrial communications technologies in automation today. The common interest of the PI’s global network of vendors,developers, system integrators and end users is technical development and international promotion of these open fieldbus technologies. Currently, around 50 million PROFIBUS devices and 10 million PROFINET devices are installed worldwide. PI is supported by 26 regional associations (RPA).
This global network shares a common interest in a larger installed base, further development, and application of PROFIBUS and PROFINET. Under the PI umbrella there are over 50 active working groups responsible for the development, standardization, and increased market presence of PROFIBUS and PROFINET. In addition, there is a global PI network of accredited Test Labs as well as Training and Competence Centers, which meet international quality standards.
PROFINET, the globally leading Industrial Ethernet standard, is the only Industrial Ethernet standard that offers full openness for TCP/IP traffic combined with deterministic real time behavior for motion control application. Especially with the broad range of profiles, such as PROFIsafe, PROFIenergy and PROFIdrive, it is well prepared to serve as a backbone for Industry 4.0 and Industrial IoT.