CC-Link IE extends 1 Gigabit industrial Ethernet to field devices, with copper

New CC-Link IE Field network is at least 10 times faster than currently available Industrial Ethernet networks, CC-Link Partner Association (CLPA) told Control Engineering. See 5 diagrams and a table.

January 20, 2010

The CC-Link Partner Association (CLPA) announced release of CC-Link IE Field Network, an open, 1 gigabit (Gb) Industrial Ethernet field network that, because of its speed and flexibility, offers manufacturers improved data flow, easier implementation, and lowest total cost of ownership as compared to older and slower Industrial Ethernet solutions, the organization said Jan. 19. Automation equipment manufacturers can easily incorporate CC-Link IE compatibility into their products, CLPA said. More explanation and five explanatory diagrams follow the CC-Link IE Field Network specification table, and sidebar explanation of " Why choose CC-Link IE, instead of something else? "

CC-Link IE Field network specifications. This network uses copper for 1 Gbps; CC-Link IE uses fiber.

CC-Link IE Field Network, based on the IEEE 802.3 standard, provides the ultrahigh speed data acquisition backbone for manufacturing process improvement, process and part traceability, equipment control and monitoring, and failure detection, explained Chuck Lukasik, director, CC-Link Partner Association-Americas, says CC-Link IE Field Network benefits operations by simultaneously transmitting control data, log data, and diagnostic data at high speed.

Why choose CC-Link IE Field, instead of something else?

John F. Wozniak, networking specialist with CC-Link Partner Association – Americas, says CC-Link IE specifies speed of 1 Gigabit per second, 10 times faster than the 100 Mbps for Profinet, EtherNet/IP, and EtherCAT.
Also, Wozniak told Control Engineering , CC-Link IE:
– Doesn’t require intricate knowledge of Ethernet or network layout;
– Allows devices access to all network data;
– Is more user friendly;
– Doesn’t use or allow TCP/UDP/IP access onto the network without a specific bridge device; and
– Doesn’t require managed industrial Ethernet switches with IGMP snooping (prices range from around $700 to more than $2,900, for an 8-port switch).

Lukasik said features of the new 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 new network uses commercially available 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 254 stations with up to 328 ft (100 m) of Cat5E cable between each station. 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 100 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 (Control & Communication Link) is the first "open technology" field network from Japan/Asia, CLPA said. Introduced in 2000 as an open fieldbus network, CC-Link enabled the high-speed transmission and processing of control and information data to satisfy the requirements of automation control systems. These requirements include: reduced wiring costs, deterministic control, and provision for multi-vendor devices to communicate for coordinated automation systems. In 2007, the CC-Link IE Control Network was introduced to enable 1 Gb Industrial Ethernet communications between automation controllers over fiber optic cable. Now CC-Link IE Field networking provides 1 Gb Industrial Ethernet communications to field devices over Cat5E cable.

More about CC-Link

Approximately seven million CC-Link compatible products, manufactured by hundreds of automation equipment suppliers, have been installed. There currently are more than 1,200 CLPA members (60% from outside Japan), the organization says. 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 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.

CC-Link Partner Association manages CC-Link networking technology, with offices in the USA, UK, Germany, Japan, China, Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore.

Also read from Control Engineering :

– CC- Link IE: First, open, industrial Gigabit Ethernet protocol ; and
– CC- Link LT, a sensor-level I/O network.

CC-Link IE Field, a copper-based 1 Gbps protocol, is the fifth CC-Link industrial network.

CC-Link IE Field network can be configured in line, star, ring, or mixed topologies.

CC-Link IE Field network offers 1 Gigabit per second speed on the plant floor, at least 10 times faster than other industial Ethernet-based networks, CC-Link Partner Association says. Switches can be used, though they’re not necessary.

CC-Link IE (fiber) and CC-Link IE Field network (copper) can communicate with slower devices via SLMP via an Ethernet adapter, CC-Link Partner Association says.

CC-Link network protocols are layered like this, CC-Link Partner Association says; CC-Link IE Motion is underway, not yet available as of January 2010.


– Edited by Mark T. Hoske, editor in chief, Control Engineering ,