Skydivers practise indoors with CC-Link industrial network

A new indoor skydiving centre, just opened in Basingstoke, UK, uses cutting-edge CC-Link industrial communications to provide thrill seekers with an exciting, yet safe, aerial experience.

The centre is equipped with a state-of-the-art 14-foot diameter vertical wind tunnel that suspends its flyers in the airflow, emulating the feeling of freefall. Experienced skydivers can develop breathtaking acrobatic routines, while others use such facilities for training. Organizations book them for team building and bonding sessions and families create life-long memories. The centre is run by Airkix, which already operates hugely popular skydiving tunnels in Milton Keynes and Manchester.

Designed by SkyVenture of Texas, Basingstoke is one of the most advanced skydiving wind tunnels in the world. It generates wall-to-wall airflow rather than a central bubble as older tunnels do, so is far safer, more realistic and can accommodate multiple flyers.

SkyVenture, which has many tunnels around the world, understands the need for a control system that allows for easy operator control as well as simple on-site installation. It incorporates CC-Link communications to improve the operator interface as well as to control the users' experience and to aid the installation process.

CC-Link is a high-speed, high-performance open communications' network technology for automation. It has an impeccable pedigree, originally being developed for use in demanding industrial applications. Significantly, it enables devices from numerous manufacturers to communicate with one another and is "˜deterministic', i.e. it ensures instructions are carried out at exactly the correct time, allowing precise timing of system events.

CC-Link was originally developed by Mitsubishi Electric, a global leader in automation and motion control technologies. In 2000, Mitsubishi turned the technology over to an independent third party, the CC-Link Partner Association (CLPA) that has been responsible for the technical development and promotion of the technology since.

For the skydiving tunnels, SkyVenture uses a Mitsubishi Q Series PLC (programmable logic controller) as the basis for its control system. A CC-Link master card within the PLC rack controls the communications with four giant inverters that control the fan motors.

Interactive dialogue

SkyVenture says it prefers CC-Link to other communication technologies because it provides a more interactive dialogue with the inverters and other devices connected to the network. Via a single CC-Link communication line, the tunnel operator monitors voltage, current, power, set frequency and alarms, as well as setting the operating frequency to match each user's weight and ability. On older, non-CC-Link systems, all of these different functions had to have individual communication cables, which were a major task to install and maintain.

The control system incorporates many I/O points including drives, sensors and other devices to ensure the quality and safety of the skydivers' experience. These are all connected via the CC-Link cable, which is laid out around the facility with links to each device.

Additional I/O nodes monitored and controlled by CC-Link include airspeed sensors in the chamber. The airspeed defines the lift generated and the height to which the user rises.

The CC-Link network is also used to control the air temperature in the flight chamber by opening and closing 20-foot wide by 10-foot high doors. These doors are connected to linear actuators, driven by more inverters. The doors' positions are displayed on the human-machine interface (HMI) touchscreen used by the control room operator.

Slave HMI screens are provided in the flight chamber and spectator gallery. Flyers find the information useful for training and analysis, while spectators enjoy watching the airspeed, especially when it goes above 140mph.

"˜Time-up' visual indicators in the flight chamber are also controlled via CC-Link. Due to the wind noise in the chamber, strobe lights are used to indicate that the flight session is coming to an end.

The SkyVenture tunnels are energy-efficient recirculating tunnels. They use four 600hp direct-driven 2.8m vent-axial fans mounted on the top of the building to draw air up through the flight chamber. They can easily generate airspeeds greater than 170mph - equivalent to a Category 5 hurricane.

The fastest vertical wind tunnel in the world, capable of generating wind speeds approaching 250mph is a SkyVenture facility in Seattle. To maintain control of such a powerful airflow, the system monitors fan motor vibrations, temperature and safety shutdown triggers that all have to operate in milliseconds. All of this information must be communicated through a user-friendly HMI that facility operators can monitor while customers are in flight. Obviously, when all this takes place in a simulated super hurricane, speed is essential, but SkyVenture knows it can rely on the CC-Link network to communicate instructions and information in milliseconds.

And that's not the biggest advantage CC-Link gives SkyVenture.

Complex machinery

Constructing the tunnels is one of SkyVenture's greatest challenges. It must build relatively complex pieces of machinery in locations all over the world using local labour. The key to the SkyVenture success is in the simple-to-implement and install design of the tunnel, and its associated control systems. Most tunnels can be shipped in standard containers and assembled by a crew that may never have seen this type of machine before.

CC-Link simplifies the wind tunnel control system installation - down to connecting a handful of cables in the field rather than having to wire up hundreds of separate connections. CC-Link allows SkyVenture to complete 90 per cent of the control system in its Texas home base, saving costs and ensuring quality.

Another huge advantage that CC-Link provides is reliability. Day after day, month after month and year after year the control systems - including CC-Link - operate at a rate of over 98 per cent. This is an actual operational figure, not just a projection.

Since its first installation in Orlando, Florida, SkyVenture has built over 25 wind tunnels. From Amazonian Brazil to the mountains of Malaysia and Montreal's harsh winter, SkyVenture has wind tunnels in almost every climate and condition. The company plans to continue to build new systems and retrofit older ones with the benefits that the CC-Link network provides.

The combined advantages of speedy communication and the ease of installation in the field have made CC-Link communication the safe and cost-effective choice for the skydiving wind tunnel designer SkyVenture.

To learn more about CC-Link industrial communications go to www.clpa-europe.com.

CC-Link Partner Association - Europe (CLPA)

Gothaer Strasse 8
40880 Ratingen
GERMANY

+44 (0)7768 338708

partners@clpa-europe.com

www.clpa-europe.com

More from CC-Link Partner Association - Europe (CLPA)

Time Sensitive Networking – what’s in it for machine builders?

Posted 3 months ago

CLPA creates Global Strategic Advisor role for Smart Factories

Posted 9 months ago

Benefits of TSN discussed at ARC Industry Forum Europe 2019

Posted 1 year ago

CLPA to show Ethernet innovation at SPS IPC Drives Italia 2019

Posted 1 year ago

CC-Link IE TSN attracts attention at Hannover Messe

Posted 1 year ago

Why is 100Mbit industrial Ethernet insufficient for Industry4.0?

Posted 1 year ago

Why open industrial networks are essential for Smart Factories

Posted 1 year ago

CC-Link IE TSN: the next-generation Ethernet-based network

Posted 2 years ago

Factory networks take a big step forward at SPS 2018

Posted 2 years ago

CC-Link IE is Mitsubishi's network of choice for Industry 4.0

Posted 2 years ago

Slip rings use CC-Link IE for gigabit data transfer

Posted 2 years ago

Coupler enables interoperability between CC-Link IE and Profinet

Posted 2 years ago

CLPA highlights growth of CC-Link IE development options

Posted 3 years ago

CLPA OPC UA companion specification for CSP+ for Machine

Posted 3 years ago

Is Gigabit Industrial Ethernet key for Industry 4.0 goals?

Posted 3 years ago

Working group: security for open industrial automation networks

Posted 3 years ago

Hilscher plans first "˜coupler' between CC-Link IE and PROFINET

Posted 3 years ago

Benefits of open gigabit Ethernet illustrated at ARC Forum

Posted 3 years ago

Integrated factory automation networks key to Industry 4.0

Posted 3 years ago

CC-Link Partner Association at SPS Italia 2017

Posted 3 years ago

Implementing Ethernet at the field device level

Posted 3 years ago

Working with multiple networks and growth in Asia

Posted 3 years ago

CLPA webinar shows benefits of open gigabit industrial Ethernet

Posted 3 years ago

Weidmüller develops CC-Link IE products to drive Industry 4.0

Posted 4 years ago

New CC-Link IE and Profinet interoperability specification

Posted 4 years ago

CLPA brings networking accessibility to SPS/IPC/Drives 2016

Posted 4 years ago

CLPA helps cable manufacture expand into Asian markets

Posted 4 years ago

Balluff I/O blocks enable quicker CC-Link IE network building

Posted 4 years ago

CC-Link IE and CC-Link adoption soars

Posted 4 years ago

Production machines and automation products for the Asian market

Posted 4 years ago

PROFINET and CC-Link IE cooperation will expand open networks

Posted 4 years ago

Twelve things you need to know about CC-Link networks

Posted 4 years ago

CLPA to show CC-Link IE and CC-Link open at SPS Italia

Posted 4 years ago

Reports of fieldbuses' usage disappearing are premature

Posted 4 years ago

OPC Foundation and CLPA sign Memorandum of Understanding

Posted 4 years ago

CC-Link Partner Association (CLPA) opens office in Mexico

Posted 4 years ago

Lapp Group grows with CC-Link IE & CC-Link

Posted 4 years ago

White paper previews CC-Link IE and PROFINET interoperability

Posted 4 years ago

CC-Link IE - the natural choice for Industry 4.0

Posted 4 years ago

SLMP for integrating FAG SmartCheck into industrial automation

Posted 5 years ago

CC-Link keeps up with demand for water in Denmark

Posted 5 years ago

CC-Link Partner Association marks its 15th anniversary

Posted 5 years ago

Major Asian and European network collaboration announcement

Posted 5 years ago

Changes in the network security landscape

Posted 5 years ago

CC-Link IE and CC-Link set new record for global installed base

Posted 5 years ago

CC-Link Partner Association brings on Cisco as Board member

Posted 5 years ago

Global networking specialist acknowledges importance of CC-Link

Posted 5 years ago

Building chips for CC-Link IE is good for business at Renesas

Posted 5 years ago

SLMP for CC-Link IE: exploit open industrial Ethernet protocol

Posted 5 years ago

CC-Link IE wins IEC61158/IEC61784 certification

Posted 5 years ago

More development options for CC-Link, CC-Link IE device makers

Posted 5 years ago

One year on, the CLPA's Gateway to Asia is still wide open

Posted 5 years ago

Double link strengthens approach to Asian automation

Posted 5 years ago

The future of open automation networks - gigabit CC-Link IE

Posted 6 years ago

Molex becomes a CLPA board member

Posted 6 years ago

CC-Link opens up Asian markets for measurement specialist

Posted 6 years ago

CC-Link plans major board member announcement at SPS/IPC/Drives

Posted 6 years ago

CC-Link gives Cognex a clear view of Asian opportunities

Posted 6 years ago

New CLPA Chair is world-renowned production engineer

Posted 6 years ago

CC-Link partner Festo is using nature to inspire automation

Posted 6 years ago

Conformance testing ensures clear open communications

Posted 6 years ago

Industrial Ethernet connects systems, improves energy efficiency

Posted 6 years ago

Safety networks: The route from zero accidents to zero risk

Posted 6 years ago

CLPA announces EUR10,000 support for CC-Link product developers

Posted 6 years ago

CC-Link opens actual Gateway to Asia with new Turkish branch

Posted 6 years ago

CLPA appoints first European member to Managing Board

Posted 7 years ago

Open industrial networking associations ASI and CLPA forge links

Posted 7 years ago

Industrial automation changes up a gear with CC Link

Posted 7 years ago

CC-Link seminar explores opportunities for growth in Asia

Posted 7 years ago

Berners joins CLPA to help companies export to China

Posted 7 years ago

CLPA unveils major developments at the SPS IPC Drives 2013 Fair

Posted 7 years ago

Car manufacturer sees benefits via use of CC-Link open networks

Posted 7 years ago

Multiple approvals enhance CC-Link's global acceptability

Posted 7 years ago

CC-Link membership booms as interest in open networks grows

Posted 7 years ago

Sensors and communications combine to improve production hygiene

Posted 7 years ago

CC-Link widens partner product development options

Posted 8 years ago

CC-Link highlights industry solutions with key European partners

Posted 8 years ago

CC-Link expands horizons with management board appointments

Posted 8 years ago

Learn more about CC-Link anytime, anywhere with a virtual booth

Posted 8 years ago

Indian sub-continent gets local support for CC-Link

Posted 8 years ago

CC-Link adds energy management capabilities

Posted 8 years ago

CLPA shares open networks for success at the 2012 EMS Summit

Posted 8 years ago

CC-Link helps Ford & Mazda stay flexible in China

Posted 8 years ago

Energy management and FPGA on show at SPS/IPC/Drives Fair

Posted 8 years ago

Free Gateway to China business kit on 4GB USB stick

Posted 8 years ago

Strengthening the CC-Link open network partnership

Posted 8 years ago

CC-Link sponsors major European manufacturing summit

Posted 8 years ago

Gateway to China from the CLPA for potential new markets

Posted 8 years ago

White Paper explores strategies for entering the Chinese market

Posted 8 years ago

Starter kits make CC-Link adoption a simple step

Posted 8 years ago

CC-Link IE Field Ethernet-based network gains motion control

Posted 8 years ago

CC-Link enhances productivity for flat-panel LCD plant

Posted 8 years ago

SIL 3 safety layer added to CC-Link IE Field Industrial Ethernet

Posted 8 years ago

CLPA celebrates 10th anniversary of CC-Link

Posted 9 years ago

CC-Link becomes 'The Non-Stop Open Network'

Posted 9 years ago

CLPA to promote FDT as an international standard

Posted 9 years ago

Mitsubishi opens CC-Link conformance test centre in Germany

Posted 9 years ago

Financial benefits of retrofitting open fieldbus networks

Posted 9 years ago

CC-Link to be incorporated within FDT protocol standard

Posted 9 years ago

Automation and robotics training centre features CC-Link

Posted 9 years ago

CC-link exceeds 1500 members and 8,500,000 devices

Posted 9 years ago

Open architecture control systems offer plant-wide benefits

Posted 9 years ago

CLPA-China celebrates ten years of CC-Link in China

Posted 9 years ago

Free webinar explains CC-Link 'Gateway to China' programme

Posted 9 years ago

'Gateway to China' programme to feature at SPS/IPC/Drives

Posted 9 years ago

CLPA offers three chances to win an iPad

Posted 9 years ago

'Gateway to China' movie helps companies enter Chinese market

Posted 9 years ago

CC-Link network supports automation of winemaking

Posted 9 years ago

John Browett named Acting General Manager of CLPA - Europe

Posted 9 years ago

CC-Link selected for biogas cogeneration plants

Posted 10 years ago

New Anybus-CC drive profile modules for CC-Link

Posted 10 years ago

Heavy-duty CC-Link I/O modules are sealed to IP67

Posted 10 years ago

CC-Link selected for crane upgrade project

Posted 10 years ago

CC-Link survives in harsh die casting environment

Posted 10 years ago

CC-Link helps maintain productivity and quality in pharma plant

Posted 10 years ago

CC-Link connects eleven Danish boreholes

Posted 12 years ago

CC-Link network expands to encompass entire factory

Posted 12 years ago

CC-Link connects conveyor inverters to PLC network

Posted 12 years ago

CC-Link helps to ensure reliability of pumping station

Posted 12 years ago

A guide to the CC-Link industrial fieldbus network

Posted 12 years ago

Integrator GB Innomech uses CC-Link for building control

Posted 12 years ago

CLPA offers assistance to UK OEMs selling into Asia

Posted 12 years ago

New version of CC-Link based on Industrial Ethernet

Posted 12 years ago

Using fieldbuses with multi-vendor automation systems

Posted 12 years ago

European applications for the CC-Link industrial fieldbus

Posted 13 years ago

New CLPA office supports use of CC-Link in Turkey

Posted 13 years ago

CC-Link adopted by Polish universities

Posted 13 years ago

CLPA to show CC-Link IE at SPS/IPC/Drives show

Posted 13 years ago

CC-Link partners launch new safety fieldbus, CC-Link Safety

Posted 13 years ago

CLPA sponsors European Manufacturing Strategies Summit

Posted 13 years ago

More applications
1 day ago
Boxing clever
A new chainflex cable box means big shipping cost savings for customers
1 day ago
New industrial vision online channel sees the light of day
Industrial vision provider IDS is making its expertise as a manufacturer of digital industrial cameras available free of charge and readily accessible on a new platform
1 day ago
Ball screws help protect buildings from earthquakes
Ball screws from NSK are helping to protect structures and people in earthquake zones
1 day ago
ATEX certification for new pneumatic valve island
Pneumatic process control offers numerous benefits, especially in hygienic applications. Bürkert says that its new Type 8652 AirLINE valve island provides users with improved safety features, communications and diagnostics
1 day ago
ABB launches condition-based maintenance service for robots
New service enables users to plan ahead and optimise production performance
1 day ago
What the UK-EU trade deal means for UK vehicle manufacturers
Now the UK has left the EU, the transition period has ended and the two parties have established a new trading relationship, UK-based vehicle manufacturers have some clarity over what they need to do to serve three key markets: Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales), the EU and Northern Ireland
1 day ago
Farnell publishes Industry 4.0 ebook
New ‘Industry 4.0 Interviews’ ebook is available for free download from Farnell and showcases the opinions of leading global experts on the future of IIoT and Industry 4.0
1 day ago
Can DC motors be used at high temperatures?
There is no need for a heated discussion about it as maxon’s motor expert Andrew Gibson offers a view on the subject
2 days ago
Switching up a gear
Phoenix Contact is expanding its line of unmanaged switches
2 days ago
New Intertronics metering, mixing and dispensing system
Adhesives supplier Intertronics has introduced a new 2-K-DOS metering, mixing and dispensing system, said to be a compact, benchtop unit suitable for materials including silicones, polyurethanes and epoxies