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CC-Link Partners Empower OT/IT Convergence
Since 1996, when Mitsubishi Electric first introduced CC-Link, a high-speed field network for industrial applications, a growing global network of sponsoring companies has provided support for the technology. Now known as the CC-Link Partner Association (CLPA), today it numbers more than 4,000 corporate members worldwide.
Formed in 2000, the same year CC-Link was released as an open network, CLPA works to manage and oversee the network technology and support manufacturer members who are incorporating CLPA network compatibility into their products. The network family of products complies with a number of industry standards, including ISO, IEC and SEMI, and the Japanese, Chinese, Korean and Taiwanese national standards.
All certification for CLPA networks is carried out by the CLPA organization and is compulsory in order to ensure that devices manufactured by suppliers meet strict technical performance standards. These include noise resistance and correct communication functionality. To declare a product as CLPA certified, a vendor needs to successfully test their product at one of the CLPA test laboratories located around the world.
With the increasing number of firms joining the CC-Link Partner Association, the accumulated number of CC-Link family compatible products is now over 2311 models. Partner companies receive the benefit of their products being promoted in various association activities, including the CLPA website, the e-F@ctory Alliance Program and other marketing activities.
With the growing global adoption of CC-Link technology, the total number of shipped devices now exceeds 31 million annually. The growth of the installed base for CC-Link is being driven most rapidly in the automotive, semiconductor and LCD panel industries.
The CC-Link network family now includes:
- The original CC-Link. Deterministic, high-speed 10 Mbps operation. Predictable, unvarying I/O response for real-time control. Significantly reduces the amount of control and power wiring needed.
- CC-Link Safety, a functional safety fieldbus; specialized for use in demanding safety networks.
- CC-Link IE Control, the first gigabit Ethernet optical network, provides backbone communications for a factory or along a production line. Enables seamless data transmission from IT to OT. Provides high reliability by duplexing transmission path. Core network bundles each field or motion network for controller-level distributed control with gigabit speed high data capacity.
- CC-Link IE Field, a gigabit network intended for communications between controllers and field devices. Provides real-time integrated distributed control of I/O while also linking numerous networks at high speed.
- CC-Link IE Field Basic, a software-based version intended for general performance devices. Uses Ethernet technology and can be easily applied to small-scale equipment. Can be realized by software implementation alone.
- The latest version is CC-Link IE TSN, the first open network to incorporate time-sensitive networking capabilities, which can be implemented via software or hardware.
CC-Link IE TSN enables convergence of multiple OT and IT networks, increasing system structure flexibility while reducing wiring costs. It also dramatically reduces communication cycles, because the network can simultaneously transmit and receive input and output communication frames in both directions by using network time synchronization.
By adopting TSN, which achieves real-time communication by time-sharing, different networks can coexist on a single cable, enabling high-speed, accurate control. Motion control capabilities are also significantly enhanced. This functionality is critical to achieving the goal of smarter, more productive and profitable operations.
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