Industrial Ethernet: Bottom to top, 1Gb CC-Link IE connects them all

Nagoya, Japan—The CC-Link Partner Association (CLPA) says CC-Link IE industrial Ethernet protocol, can connect all levels of manufacturing, from top management planning systems to smart sensors on the shop floor.   Standard version of CC-Link (originally developed by Mitsubishi Electric) uses RS-485; the new CC-Link IE uses the increasingly popular Ethernet physical layer. (See also CC-Link IE: First, open, industrial Gigabit Ethernet protocol.)


Nagoya, Japan —The

CC-Link Partner Association (CLPA)

,IE and the standard version of CC-Link (originally developed by

Mitsubishi Electric

) is that the new version uses the increasingly popular Ethernet physical layer, rather than RS-485. [See also

CC-Link IE: First, open, industrial Gigabit Ethernet protocol


Ethernet is a worldwide standard for management / IT networking, having essentially displaced all other data-communication methods. At the production-network level, however, a number of standards are in wide use. European control engineers most commonly specify Profibus or its Ethernet version Profinet, which were originally developed by European automation giant Siemens. In North America, DeviceNet holds the largest share, according to CLPA general manager Stephen Jones. (DeviceNet was originally developed by Rockwell Automation, which similarly turned it over to a governing organization.)

With the announcement of CC-Link IE, all three standards now have versions running on Ethernet physical layer. “CC-Link IE, however, is the only one specifically developed to use Gigabit Ethernet over optical fiber,” Jones asserts. Gigabit Ethernet (gigE) is the only network fast enough to assure effective real-time machine control, he continues. Optical fiber provides plenty of bandwidth to carry gigE signals while providing additional benefits, such as immunity to electromagnetic interference (EMI) and reduced weight relative to copper wire Cat-5 Ethernet cabling.

One of CC-Link IE’s most significant features is its self-healing ability. Despite the fact that most current Ethernet installations use star-network topology, the physical standard was originally intended as a multi-drop backbone and can work with other topologies as well. CC-Link IE specifically uses bi-directional token ring topology, with one node acting as a control station for the entire network. In the event that one of the ring segments suffers an electrical failure (such as, short or open), the ring’s bidirectionality allows the control station to maintain communication with all of the nodes at essentially undiminished speed. Similarly, a node failure does not interfere with communication between the remaining nodes.

The system is even robust against multiple network failures. Generally, two failures are enough to separate the ring into two isolated segments, making it impossible for the control station to communicate with the nodes isolated on the other segment. A third failure would break it into three parts, etc. CC-Link IE makes provision to keep nodes on those isolated segments running.

Every node has a MAC address and, in the event that a group of nodes loses communication with the control station, the node on the isolated segment having the lowest MAC address takes over as a sub-control station. By having all stations retain copies of the latest 256 kB token, the sub-control station has all the information needed to keep the nodes remaining in its segment operating.

The CC-Link IE specification is available for download from the CLPA website . The first CC-Link IE products are expected to become available during the first quarter of 2008. CLPA expects to announce additional specifications for CC-Link IE field network and motion network standards later in 2008, and a CC-Link IE safety network standard in 2009.

-- C.G. Masi, senior editor
Control Engineering
( Register here and scroll down to select your choice of eNewsletters free .)

No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners.
Control Engineering Leaders Under 40 identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Learn more about methods used to ensure that the integration between the safety system and the process control...
Adding industrial toughness and reliability to Ethernet eGuide
Technological advances like multiple-in-multiple-out (MIMO) transmitting and receiving
Virtualization advice: 4 ways splitting servers can help manufacturing; Efficient motion controls; Fill the brain drain; Learn from the HART Plant of the Year
Two sides to process safety: Combining human and technical factors in your program; Preparing HMI graphics for migrations; Mechatronics and safety; Engineers' Choice Awards
Detecting security breaches: Forensic invenstigations depend on knowing your networks inside and out; Wireless workers; Opening robotic control; Product exclusive: Robust encoders
The Ask Control Engineering blog covers all aspects of automation, including motors, drives, sensors, motion control, machine control, and embedded systems.
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
News and comments from Control Engineering process industries editor, Peter Welander.
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
This is a blog from the trenches – written by engineers who are implementing and upgrading control systems every day across every industry.
Anthony Baker is a fictitious aggregation of experts from Callisto Integration, providing manufacturing consulting and systems integration.
Integrator Guide

Integrator Guide

Search the online Automation Integrator Guide

Create New Listing

Visit the System Integrators page to view past winners of Control Engineering's System Integrator of the Year Award and learn how to enter the competition. You will also find more information on system integrators and Control System Integrators Association.

Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Control Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.