IEFB was launched at the fair in 2016 and there is now an expanding range of compatible PLCs, HMIs, inverters, servos and remote I/O for 2017.
The CLPA displayed (SPS/IPC/Drives 2017) a variety of industry standard development solutions for CC-Link IE, CC-Link IE Field Basic and their fieldbus counterpart CC-Link. Of particular interest is the launch of new IEFB development solutions by two key CLPA partners, Hilscher and Texas Instruments (TI).
The Hilscher solution is an extension of their industry standard netX platform which is already a market leader for open automation networking. The options available include embedded modules that will make it easy for current Hilscher customers to add CC-Link IE or IEFB compatibility to existing products already using the netX platform. PC cards for both network types round out the picture, offering compatibility for industrial PC based systems.
Christof Hunger, product manager at Hilscher, commented, “Hilscher is a long-time partner of the CLPA and we have offered CC-Link fieldbus options for many years. However, with the rising demand for Ethernet based systems and the continuing growth of the CC-Link IE installed base, we knew it was time to offer our extensive global customer base the option to add CC-Link IE and IEFB to their products too. We expect these new products to become a successful part of our general offering with strong sales growth expected.”
In addition, TI offers a reference design to assist in the design of a CC-Link IE Field Basic master and slave based on its Sitara™ processor portfolio. Companies worldwide are using Sitara processors for embedded development in industrial automation applications. TI’s processors offer a variety of options for developing IEFB products. Since the processors are based on Arm® Cortex®-A cores, in addition to the multi-protocol PRU-ICSS engine, they can help handle control as well as networking tasks with minimum cost and complexity.
Ellen Kou, product manager at TI, commented, “Since the rise of Ethernet in the automation space, TI has sought to be a provider of leading-edge processors and industrial communication expertise to automation equipment manufacturers by leveraging the power and flexibility of our Sitara processor and complementary analogue portfolios and system insight. CC-Link IE Field Basic is an exciting networking protocol for the future of industrial automation and we are looking forward to working with the CLPA to increase its installed base across many different device types.”
The Hilscher and TI platforms will be displayed alongside existing options from other long-time CLPA partners HMS, Mitsubishi Electric and Renesas, who also offer CC-Link IE and CC-Link development options.
John Wozniak, P.E.; manager for the CLPA in the Americas attended the show and concluded, “CC-Link IE is the technology leader for industrial Ethernet and Industry 4.0 by virtue of its unique gigabit bandwidth. CC-Link IE Field Basic extends the core functionality of CC-Link IE to 100Mbit devices. We can see that the market is responding to the possibilities this represents by the continued double digit growth in our global installed base, currently approaching 20 million devices. It’s this market success that is driving industry leaders such as Hilscher and TI to join our existing partners to increase the range of options for companies looking to add this compatibility to their product lines. We plan to constantly increase this range of options for device makers who want to get on board with us to be able to find the right solution for their needs.”