SIL 3 safety layer added to CC-Link IE Field Industrial Ethernet

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SIL 3 safety layer added to CC-Link IE Field Industrial EthernetCLPA is announcing a new IEC 61508 SIL 3 compliant safety protocol layer for the CC-Link IE Field protocol. CC-Link is a family of open network technologies that have a 10-year track record and an installed base of over 8million devices. The CC-Link IE (Industrial Ethernet) variants are claimed to be the only open Ethernet-based networks that offer gigabit performance. Note that CC-Link IE Field with the new safety protocol layer is not the same as CC-Link Safety.

CC-Link IE Field was introduced in 2009 to offer gigabit Ethernet performance between controllers and field devices such as I/O, inverters, HMIs and other machine components. With the addition of a safety protocol layer that is fully compliant with IEC 61508 SIL 3, machine builders and system integrators can use a single open Ethernet-based network to integrate conventional and safety control. Furthermore, compatible safety devices can be connected directly to the network, which reduces cost and increases flexibility. Rather than having to implement a costly independent safety network, designers can now simply add safety devices as required, using the existing CC-Link IE Field network infrastructure. To maintain the safety functions, the safety devices are operated by a dedicated safety controller that operates independently of the main network controller.

John Browett, the Acting General Manager of CLPA Europe, comments: "CC-Link IE Field is a groundbreaking technology that puts CC-Link ahead of the market by virtue of its unmatched gigabit performance. The addition of the safety capabilities further maintains that leadership position. In any safety application, dependability and performance are paramount. Machine builders and system designers can choose CC-Link IE Field knowing that its response to emergencies will be immediate. When life or limb is at stake, milliseconds can make the difference between a narrow escape and a serious or even fatal injury.

"While IEC 61508 does not attempt to completely eliminate risk from a system, it attempts to mitigate it to the lowest possible level based on what is considered acceptable for the application. CC-Link IE Field provides a flexible safety solution that meets the needs of a wide range of applications, independent of their level of risk.

"We usually try to promote CC-Link as being The Non-Stop Open Network, to explain how its technical features translate directly into business benefits by being able to maintain productivity even in adverse operating conditions. However, this new safety technology demonstrates that sometimes it is just as important to stop rather than go."

CLPA says that the new CC-Link safety capabilities further demonstrate CLPA's commitment to developing CC-Link's core technologies. CC-Link IE has been developed steadily over time. Originally launched in 2007 for controller-level networking (CC-Link IE Control), CC-Link IE has been driven forward by CLPA to bring gigabit performance to all levels of the hierarchy. Further developments are planned for the near future, including an Ethernet-based motion control network.

CC-Link is widely accepted as being the leading technology for the Asian market. As demand for safety functions increases in this market, it is clear that European companies will also be implementing it to enable them to compete in that vital region.

Follow the link for more information about CC-Link IE and the new safety layer.

26 January 2012

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