Events News

Networking openness and accessibility on show at SPS 2016

28th October 2016
Alice Matthews

At SPS/IPC/Drives 2016 the CC-Link Partner Association (CLPA) will be showcasing the organisation’s commitment to increasing openness and accessibility for CC-Link IE. The CLPA will be launching the latest iteration of CC-Link IE, CC-Link IE Field Network Basic, while announcing the release of the CC-Link IE/PROFINET interoperability specification along with PROFIBUS & PROFINET International (PI).

A joint CLPA/PI press conference held on the first day of the fair will provide full details to industry media.

SPS 2016 takes place from the 22nd to 24th November 2016 in Nuremberg, Germany – gathering a wide range of automation industry key decision makers from across the world. Visitors will be able to link up with the CLPA in hall 2, booth 2-540 during the course of the event.

Results of CLPA and PI cooperation
At SPS 2015, the CLPA announced a cooperation with PROFIBUS and PROFINET International (PI), with the aim of achieving seamless communication between CC-Link IE and PROFINET. This was following the demand for greater connectivity and transparency due to the increasing importance of Industry 4.0 and similar industry trends.

At this year’s show, the two automation network organisations will be releasing their joint specification. This has been produced in less than a year by the working group formed after 2015’s SPS announcement. The release of the specification signals the delivery of the promised interoperability between the two networks, which addresses the needs of end users in both Asia and Europe.

This result builds on the general trend of cooperation being exhibited by the CLPA. At the Hannover Fair in April, CLPA also signed a memorandum of understanding with the OPC Foundation to increase the support for OPC UA by CC-Link IE.

CC-Link IE Field Network Basic – new options for 100Mbit devices
CC-Link IE Field Network Basic is the latest technology from the CC-Link IE open gigabit Ethernet, which brings CC-Link IE compatibility to 100Mbit devices purely by implementing software at both the master and device level. Hence it is intended to greatly increase the accessibility of CC-Link IE to companies whose devices are not yet ready to support gigabit Ethernet.

Existing 100Mbit devices can now have CC-Link IE compatibility added purely though software development. Moreover, since no hardware development is required, implementation of master stations on industrial PCs is also simplified. Finally, it also increases compatibility with other Ethernet technologies using TCP/IP & UDP/IP.

Leading companies such as Balluff, CKD, Hilscher, IDEC, Mitsubishi Electric, Molex, Phoenix Contact and Renesas Electronics are already considering CC-Link IE Field Basic support, with more planned. To encourage other companies to support this technology, the CLPA is announcing a special campaign where companies who develop a CC-Link IE Field Network Basic product can get free product certification from the CLPA.

CLPA-EU general manager John Browett commented: “CC-Link IE has firmly established itself as the technology leader in the industrial Ethernet market by virtue of its unique open gigabit Ethernet technology. However, it’s become clear that some devices on the market are not ready for gigabit yet. By offering CC-Link IE Field Network Basic, we can broaden the many benefits of CC-Link IE to all companies who want to get on board with the CLPA.

“The Basic version helps to provide a well-rounded solution to all levels of the market. Companies who are looking to offer maximum performance can choose the gigabit version, while those who wish to stay with 100Mbit Ethernet for now can choose Basic mode to leverage our other benefits. However, in the end the real winners will be machine builders and end-users who will have an even greater freedom of choice when specifying CC-Link IE systems.” 

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