Although not as widely installed as DeviceNet, Profibus, or Profinet in the U.S., CC-Link is the number one device-level network in Asia — and one with which engineers should be familiar if their companies do business in China. It's also getting faster and better. The CC-Link Partner Association (CLPA), Vernon Hills, Ill., announces the release of CC-Link IE Field Network, an open, one-Gb Industrial Ethernet field network that, because of its speed and flexibility, offers manufacturers improved data flow, easier implementation, and lower total cost of ownership as compared to older and slower Industrial Ethernet solutions.

In addition, automation equipment manufacturers can easily incorporate CC-Link IE compatibility into their products, according to CPLA. Based on the IEEE 802.3 standard, the network provides an ultrahigh-speed data acquisition backbone for manufacturing process improvement, process and part traceability, equipment control and monitoring, and failure detection. The network simultaneously transmits control, log, and diagnostic data.

One-Gb-per-second transmission and real-time protocol enables control of remote I/O field devices with essentially no transmission delay — at least 10 times faster than currently available Industrial Ethernet-based networks. The new network uses commercially available Cat5E cable and RJ45 connectors. Unlike other Industrial Ethernet solutions, CC-Link also delivers deterministic control communications without requiring Ethernet switches. No knowledge of CC-Link IE protocol is required and determinism is guaranteed by the network's token-passing technique.

A CC-Link IE Field Network allows for a topology best suited to the needs of the particular application, including star, line, mixed star and line, and ring. A single network allows 254 stations with up to 328 ft of Cat5E cable between each station; up to 239 networks may be interconnected, allowing vast data exchange to suit any application. For more information, visit www.cclinkamerica.org.

CC-Link 101

CC-Link (Control & Communication Link) is the first “open technology” field network from Japan/Asia — introduced in 2000 to enable fast and deterministic transmission and processing of control and information data for automated systems. Approximately seven million CC-Link compatible products, manufactured by hundreds of automation equipment suppliers, have been installed. In recent years, the number of CC-Link installations in the U.S. and Europe also has increased steadily.