CC-Link IE Field Network integrates safety

The latest network specification from CC-Link Partner Association, CC-Link IE Field Network, integrates safety functions for gigabit per second in a variety of fields. It meets international safety standards for SIL3 compliance of IEC61508:2010 for electrical, electronic, and programmable electronic safety-related systems and follows IEC61784-3:2010 for functional safety fieldbuses.


The CC-Link Partner Association (CLPA) announced the release of CC-Link IE Field Network specifications with integrated safety functionality. With one gigabit-per-second communication speed, CC-Link IE is designed as the communications backbone for automation control, safety, data communications, monitoring, and diagnostics, CLPA noted. 

CC-Link IE Field Network with integrated safety meets international safety standards for SIL3 compliance of IEC61508:2010 for electrical, electronic, and programmable electronic safety-related systems and follows IEC61784-3:2010 for functional safety fieldbuses.

“With 10 times the speed of 100 megabit Industrial Ethernet and virtually unlimited capacity, CC-Link IE Field Network opens the door to higher performance automation systems and more versatile and agile enterprises,” said Chuck Lukasik, Director of CLPA-Americas. “Now with high-speed field device communication integrated with functional safety, this network has become even more valuable by allowing safety devices and safety functions to coexist on the same network as non-safety field devices.”

CC-Link IE Field Network with integrated safety can deliver safety shutdown of processes in response to an emergency signal from light curtains, safety gates, E-stops, etc. Network diagnostics are so precise that when a cable disconnects or a faulty station is detected, the location of the fault is identified and isolated. Line trouble and module errors can be identified from any location with access to the network, such as an office or anywhere on the production floor. Additional features of the CC-Link IE Field Network include:

Ultrahigh speed

  • One gigabit-per-second transmission and real-time protocol enables control of remote I/O field devices with essentially no transmission delay. This transmission rate is at least ten times faster than currently available Industrial Ethernet-based networks. The network uses commercially available Ethernet Cat5E cable and RJ45 connectors.

Inherent determinism without Ethernet switches

  • A significant difference between CC-Link IE Field Network and other Industrial Ethernet solutions is that CC-Link IE Field Network delivers deterministic control communications without requiring the addition of Ethernet switches. This feature eliminates the hardware costs and engineering implementation costs of those switches. Also, the cost and need for developing communication statements to govern the flow of data is eliminated due to the shared memory concept of CC-Link IE Field and no knowledge of CC-Link IE protocol is required. Determinism is guaranteed by the CC-Link IE token-passing technique.

Flexible topology

  • A CC-Link IE Field Network allows for a topology best suited to the needs of the particular application – thus ensuring greatest flexibility. These topologies include star, line, mixed star and line, and ring. Within a single network there can be a total of 121 stations with up to 328 feet (100 meters) of Cat5E cable between each station. Also, facility exists to incorporate more than 3000 Ethernet TCP/IP devices onto the network. In addition, as many as 239 networks can be interconnected, allowing vast exchange of data to suit any application.

Seamless Communication

  • CC-Link IE Field networking enables seamless communication of data from field devices to controllers and from controllers to other controllers in order to form an integrated network for transmitting data at gigabit speed. An Ethernet adapter enables connection to 10/100/1000 Mb Ethernet devices.

Built-in diagnostics

  • Built-in network diagnostics help to reduce total cost of ownership from installation through to operation and maintenance.

CC-Link networking is installed in numerous industries throughout the world. These include automobile manufacturing, semiconductor/liquid crystal factories, chemical facilities, water processing facilities, pharmaceutical manufacturing, food processing, printing facilities, building automation, and many others. CC-Link usage is greatest in Asia and offers new potential sales for North American OEMs and equipment suppliers that develop CC-Link products. In recent years, the number of CC-Link installations in the United States and Europe has increased steadily.

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