The CC-Link Partner Association (CLPA) and PI (PROFIBUS & PROFINET International) are announcing a close collaboration with the objective of promoting and disseminating the use of open industrial networks. As users aspire to be ready for Industry 4.0 or the Industrial Internet of Things based manufacturing systems easy integration of various networks, such as CC-Link IE and PROFINET, is essential for this.
Digital communication using a fieldbus or Industrial Ethernet is already widely used in modern production plants and is an important building block for increasing productivity. The demand for intelligent communication will continue to increase due to megatrends such Industry 4.0 and IIoT. However, the heterogeneous landscape of Industrial Ethernet standards that has existed for years poses the problem that devices and machines of different communication systems are in themselves unable to exchange data. Machine builders are therefore forced to equip their machines with different networks, or plant owners are limited in their selection of suitable machines. Consequently to overcome this there has been a growing need for manufacturer-specific transfer specifications and complicated bespoke converters.
With their cooperation, CLPA and PI aim to enable transparent and easy bi-directional communication between CC-Link IE and PROFINET devices through standardized interfaces. To this end a joint working group is being established to develop the necessary technical specifications to achieve this goal. When work on the specifications is complete, it will be available to members of both organizations for implementation.
"With the CC-Link Partner Association, we have gained a comparable partner whose networks are being used in many industries worldwide," said Karsten Schneider, Chairman of PI.
"This will give users more flexibility when building their IIoT, Industry 4.0, or e-F@ctory enabled systems," confirmed Naomi Nakamura, Global Director of CLPA. "With the combined global network of CLPA offices and PI associations and the large number of available devices from members of both organizations, together we can open up additional markets for our members. As a result, the use of CC-Link IE and PROFINET will grow even faster."