Mitsubishi Electric Automation adds sensor-level I/O network to complement CC-Link

Mitsubishi Electric Automation Inc. has added a sensor-level network version of the CC-Link open device level network, CC-Link/LT, to its automation network architecture.

By Control Engineering Staff December 2, 2004

Mitsubishi Electric Automation Inc . has added a sensor-level network version of the CC-Link open device level network, CC-Link/LT, to its automation network architecture. CC-Link/LT is designed to address the needs of OEM and end-user systems, which need to connect small nodes of digital I/O to a network in the most cost-effective way. CC-Link is based on network technology hosted by the CC-Link Partner Association (CLPA), which includes more than 500 partner companies with thousands of users. Shipments of the CC Link/LT device are scheduled to begin by the end of 2004.

“CC-Link has rapidly become a globally accepted open network standard with more than 2 million installed nodes, and we are pleased to have Mitsubishi Electric Automation supporting it so strongly,” says Chuck Lukasik, CLPA’s North American director.

CC-Link/LT’s main features and benefits include:

  • Simplified connection of devices, such as pilot lights, limit switches, and pushbuttons, to control systems, and elimination of individual wiring runs from distant locations.

  • Reduced cost of installation and maintenance. CC-Link/LT handles power and signal on one key-coded, self-healing cable. Device connection requires no stripping or terminating, thanks to simple insulation displacement connectors (IDCs) that help ensure a perfect connection. Optional IDC connections on the I/O blocks can further reduce installation labor and costs because they eliminate the need for terminating lugs.

  • Designed with fine “granularity,” allowing as few as two I/O points per location.

  • Superior performance and flexibility compared to other sensor networks. CC-Link/LT spans up to 500 meters and handles up to 1,024 I/O. The bus topology supports various branching techniques.

  • Support on Mitsubishi’s Q-Series automation platform and FX’s SuperMicro controllers.

  • No special programming required. I/O appear as standard devices to the controller.

  • Efficient I/O assignment maximizes network capacity and programming simplicity.

  • Integration onto larger CC-Link networks using the available bridge module.

  • Application of open technology allowing companies to build and integrate various devices.

John Browett, Mitsubishi Electric Automation’s product manager, adds that, “Unlike other open network choices, Mitsubishi Electric guarantees compatibility in all CC-Link and CC-Link/LT devices, regardless of vendor, in systems that use Mitsubishi products. This eliminates the finger pointing that can occur with other open-network technologies in multi-vendor configurations. We believe that CC Link’s intelligent design and stringent certification virtually eliminate compatibility issues.”

For more information on CC-Link, visit CLPA’s website . Click here for more from Mitsubishi Electric Automation .

—Jim Montague, news editor, Control Engineering,