PROFIBUS & PROFINET International
"Increased bandwidth through connection with
CC-Link IE, to keep up with expanding data volumes"
—What brought about the collaboration between PI and the CLPA?
SchneiderGiven the development of the industrial IoT and Industry 4.0, we've been discussing for a year or so how industrial networks can best contribute. The conclusion we reached was to aim for enhanced mutual connectivity of CC-Link IE and PROFINET.
CC-Link IE and PROFINET have emerged and developed in very different environments, aimed at different markets; this is why we feel they will complement each other. We consider a major feature of CC-Link IE to be its 1 Gbps bandwidth. While PROFINET also allows 1 Gbps as an option, from here on, when the entire manufacturing industry--not only production sites but also the management sector--is connected through networks, data volume will increase and bandwidth will become even more essential.
Elsewhere, one of PROFINET's strengths is its support for the process industries as well as FA. Through mutual connection, we will be able to offer new options to users in the process industries as well. —What are the advantages for partners and vendors? SchneiderCurrently, if vendors offering CC-Link IE compatible products want to add PROFINET compatibility, or the other way round, they need to develop new communication interfaces for each network. Although there's almost no difference in control device function, the differing network standards require separate individual development.
If we can bring about mutual connection, a single device will be usable as an interface for both networks. This will throw the market wide open for both partners and vendors, enabling business growth. —How are you approaching the preparation and release of common specifications during 2016? SchneiderTo be honest, 2016 is a pretty tight deadline, but we hope to make it happen in collaboration with the CLPA. The Working Group includes vendors who develop compatible products for CC-Link IE and PROFINET, so once the specifications are solid, market entry should take a relatively short time. An intimate working relationship between PI and the CLPA should be able to serve as a nucleus of future connections among other industrial networks.
Karsten SchneiderPI Chairman
- CC-Link Partner Association (CLPA)