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CC-Link IE for Field Devices

CC-Link IE for Field Devices

The Industrial Ethernet version of CC-Link has added a new IE Field network which supports standard Ethernet (IEEE 802.3) with one gigabit performance over standard CAT5E cable and RJ45 connectors, targeting high-speed, deterministic communications between field devices

"CC-Link IE Field is the first gigabit industrial Ethernet network that extends down to the field device level," says John F. Wozniak, P.E., Automation Networking Specialist for the CC-Link Partner Assn. "It combines the best of existing technologies and applies them in a highly reliable architecture that provides exceptional data bandwidth and transaction rates."

CC-Link IE Field provides seamless control data transmission between automation controllers such as PLCs and computers and field devices such as digital and analog I/O, pneumatic valve manifolds, RFID readers, VFDs, motion controllers and other factory assets. It connects up to 120 stations on a single network while providing deterministic data exchange at gigabit speed without the need for Ethernet switches.

IE Field offers both "cyclic" and "transient" methods of data exchange based on proven, token passing technology and an optimized protocol. Cyclic transmissions provide real-time, transparent data delivery services to all stations. A "common memory" model configured by a few simple parameter settings establishes deterministic data exchange for the entire network. Specific data delivery timing can be calculated accurately before a network is commissioned. The second method of CC-Link IE Field communication is the transient mode. Transient messages are initiated "on-demand" from a specific station. Transient messages can be sent to one or more network stations and these stations can respond to Transient requests for data. CC-Link IE Field allocates transient mode bandwidth so that cyclic communication remains deterministic.

CC-Link IE for Field Devices

CC-Link IE Field is specifically targeting field devices and complements the CC-Link IE Control network that operates on fiber optics networks, but is typically used to address higher level controller operations and linking individual field networks together for use in MES systems. The control network can connect up to 239 CC-Link networks, and combinations of IE field, safety or control networks to create an overall network in a facility.

IE Field operates specifically with I/O, vision and conveyor systems and is designed for communication between field devices. The
system offers high-speed, deterministic communications and the ability to easily transfer large amounts of data (16,000 words and 32Kbits) on a single network which can also be combined with other networks in a facility.

For companies that already have TCP/IP devices, the network architecture in their product allows them to incorporate an SLMP application stack into their device, and immediately access the CC-Link IE Field network. It allows for products and companies to avoid a hardware redesign. The IE Field network provides seamless communication and deterministic operation for industrial and process applications.

The physical and data link layers of the CC-Link IE Control network utilize standard Ethernet technology (IEEE 802.3) as well, using fiber optic as the communication medium. This enables the use of commercially available Ethernet multimode fiber cables and network analyzers. Therefore, the availability of materials and selection of equipment for network installation, adjustment and troubleshooting are greatly simplified. TCP/IP communications are supported via the transient/acyclic communication function.
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