The collaboration project, which will be officially announced at SPS IPC Drives 2015, has been in discussion for a number of months and is expected to have a profound impact on European companies building machines and automation components designed for sale in Asia. It should also benefit European companies looking to integrate machines and devices from Asia that are built by default with CC-Link IE on-board.
Within the official announcement due at the show in November is expected to be a road map intended to arrive at a working Ethernet based specification in approximately one year. The next step is likely then to be the development of an interface that allows a machine built with either protocol on-board to sit on either network and communicate seamlessly.
The CC-Link Partner Association (CLPA) is an international organisation with over 2,400 member companies whose common objective is the promotion and technical development of the family of CC-Link open automation network technologies. The deal is certainly prescient as CC-Link and its Ethernet variant CC-Link IE is the leading open industrial automation network technology in Asia and is becoming increasingly popular in both Europe and the Americas.
With its European headquarters in Germany, still the heartland of the European machine building industry and with offices throughout the continent, the announcement is likely to be closely aligned with the objectives of the CLPA’s recent main initiative for Europe; the Gateway to Asia (G2A) programme. This helps European manufacturers develop their Asian business further with development support, testing and certification, plus, sponsored market access opportunities and general marketing support.
In addition to this major announcement, the CLPA will also be celebrating 15 years of CC-Link being an open network technology. The technology was originally developed in Japan by Mitsubishi Electric and was transferred to the CC-Link Partner Association in 2000. This allowed any company to develop compatible products, so that its take-up and further development became organic and rapid.
There is also expected to be a lot of discussion about the Industry 4.0 proposition and with the fastest Ethernet solution available today at 1Gb/s, the CLPA will be looking at a number of opportunities where the speed and flexibility of the CC-Link IE network solution is leading companies towards a more easily connected world, by connecting more devices, moving more data and making more real-time communication possible across the production floor, to management level software, then out of the building and beyond.
The CLPA is at Stand 2-540 in Hall 2 at the SPS IPC Drives show in Nuremberg from 24th to 26th November 2015.