CLPA, the CC-Link Partner Association, is launching a new safety fieldbus to enable secure communication of safety-related data over open networks, as used in industrial plant and machinery control.
CC-Link Safety is a safety fieldbus network for the communication of information relating to the operation of safety devices such as emergency stops and light curtains on production machinery. It is based on CC-Link, the fieldbus that is said to be dominant throughout Japan and Asia, and includes 'communication error detection' capabilities that react 'instantly' to systems malfunctions such as field device failures and interruptions to communications.
Recognising that European and American OEMs and systems integrators wishing to export to the booming economies of Asia must adopt the dominant local protocol, CC-Link Safety is immediately being made available in both English and Japanese versions.
To make installation as easy as possible, CC-Link Safety can use existing certified CC-Link cables and communicate with existing CC-Link products such as CC-Link remote I/O stations and field devices. It is also possible to facilitate configuration changes to control, handling and manufacturing requirements over a CC-Link Safety network.
Steve Jones, CLPA's General Manager for Europe, says: "CC-Link Safety embraces all the benefits of 'wire-reduction technology' that have so effectively reduced build and installation costs while ensuring the safe operation of industrial plant and manufacturing machinery. Additionally, systems maintenance can be greatly improved, as the setting and monitoring of all field devices is centralised in the master station, while the reduced wiring will simplify diagnosis and repair."
CC-Link Safety's protocol specification was developed by a dedicated Working Group within the CLPA. Many partners have already started developing compatible products based on the formal protocol specifications.
The CC-Link Safety System Master Unit and CC-Link Safety System Remote I/O Unit, the key components of a basic CC-Link Safety system, have been already certified with international safety standard IEC 61508 SIL3 and EN 954-1 safety category 4.
Jones states: "These are available now from CLPA Working Group member Mitsubishi Electric." Other CLPA partners are now developing compatible products such as light curtains and robots.