A white paper announcing new possibilities for interoperability between CC-Link IE and PROFINET predicts simpler control network infrastructures that should be of interest to machine builders and end users operating on a global basis.
The paper, entitled Transparent Network Infrastructure between CC-Link IE and PROFINET, can be downloaded from www.cc-link.org/eng/news/151201.html, the website of the CC-Link Partners Association (CLPA). It has been produced jointly by the CLPA and Profibus & PROFINET International (PI), following the announcement of a close cooperation between them to promote the further adoption of open industrial networks through the development of mutual interoperability.
Open networks make it easier for industrial equipment from different manufacturers to communicate over the same control systems, so will be vital for achieving the high-speed, high-volume data transfer rates required for productive and efficient I4.0 and IIoT manufacturing.
Presently there are many different communications protocols and standards, many of which are incompatible with one another. Through their cooperation, the CLPA and PI aim to enable transparent and easy bi-directional communication between CC-Link IE and PROFINET equipped machines, systems and devices through standardised interfaces.
The comprehensive white paper is designed to offer a clear, simple and objective overview of the situation. Its starts by reviewing the technologies and their levels of usage, then looks at the advantages to be gained through transparent communications between them.
The underlying premise is that the cooperation will lead to a situation where companies using either CC-Link IE or PROFINET will be able to integrate machines or systems using the other network into their facilities with ease. Hence companies in Europe who need to integrate CC-Link IE equipped machinery into their PROFINET equipped factories, or companies facing the opposite situation in Asia will have greater application possibilities and freedom of choice. The white paper also considers how this can be applied to the device level.
The cooperation was announced in November 2015 and the white paper lays out a development timeline that predicts product implementation in 2017. A working group has been formed to create the specifications that will define how this interoperability will be implemented and the target is to complete this by November 2016. Go to www.clpa-europe.com for further information about the CC-Link Partners Association, and download the white paper here.