The CC-Link Partner Association (CLPA) will be underlining its position as a leading open network organisation on Stand 431, Hall 2 at SPS/IPC/Drives 2017, with introductions to various developments that will further cement CC-Link IE’s position as an open network technology leader.
The CLPA has seen its membership pass 3,000 companies this year, while year-on-year double-digit growth in installations of CC-Link IE and CC-Link devices has seen the installed base approach the 20 million mark. To support that increasingly global base of members and users, the CLPA has invested heavily in an enhanced web presence. The new multi-lingual website provides a uniform look and feel to all interactions with CLPA, regardless of location worldwide. This ensures the highest level of consistency to support members and users as they continue to expand the installed application base globally.
At SPS/IPC/Drives in 2016, CLPA created a stir when it announced development work by CLPA partner Hilscher to create a ‘coupler’ between CC-Link IE and PROFINET, following the news of the cooperation between CLPA and PROFINET & PROFIBUS International (PI) to create a joint interoperability specification for the two networks. Now Hilscher has formally announced the launch of a coupler device, and at this year’s SPS/IPC/Drives show CLPA is planning to demonstrate seamless sharing of information between the two networks.
CLPA Europe General Manager John Browett comments: “The coupler provides a simple bridge between the two networks that will dramatically reduce the engineering work that has traditionally been necessary to achieve integration across the heterogeneous network architectures that are a fact of life in numerous plants around the world. In particular, it will make it easier for companies to source best-of-breed machinery from different suppliers in different regions of the world, rather than feeling a need to compromise on functionality or performance simply for the convenience of maintaining a single network protocol.”
CLPA will also show the first third party development support for CC-Link IE Field Basic (IEFB). Launched at SPS/IPC/Drives in 2016, IEFB is an extension to CC-Link IE that enables vendors to easily add CC-Link IE compatibility to any product with a 100Mbit Ethernet port. Easily implemented on devices or master controllers by software alone, it significantly reduces the cost of development and time to market for new devices. The companies now offering solutions for IEFB are CLPA partners Hilscher and Texas Instruments. These solutions will form part of a display on the CLPA stand at SPS/IPC/Drives 2017 highlighting CC-Link IE and CC-Link development options.
Work is also continuing between CLPA and the OPC Foundation to develop a companion specification on CC-Link IE and CC-Link for OPC UA. CLPA has now submitted a companion specification to OPC Foundation based on the “CSP+ for Machines” concept that will let users treat a whole machine as a single device, enabling drag-and-drop set-up and configurations of machine-to-cloud communications in an OPC UA environment. “This is a significant development, and we look forward to discussing it at SPS/IPC/Drives 2017 with visitors to the CLPA stand,” concludes Browett.