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CC-Link development is a safe option
Published:  05 October, 2007

A safety version of the CC-Link fieldbus has been released to send safety-related data securely over open networks. CC-Link Safety can use the same cables as the standard bus and can communicate at speeds up 10Mb/s with existing CC-Link products such as field devices and remote I/O stations.

CC Link safety logo

CC-Link was originally developed by Mitsubishi and has since become an open standard promoted by the CC-Link Partner Association (CLPA), which has more than 800 member companies and research bodies. Although CC-Link is not widely used in Europe, it is claimed to be the dominant fieldbus in Japan and the rest of Asia. It is also being used increasingly by Western OEMs that export machinery to Asia.

The new safety version can carry data relating to the operation of devices such as emergency stops and light curtains. It includes error detection capabilities that react instantly to problems such as field device failures and breaks in communications. To help in troubleshooting, a master station stores error and failure histories from remote safety stations.

"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," says CLPA’s general manager for Europe, Steve Jones. "Additionally, systems maintenance can be improved greatly as the setting and monitoring of all field devices is centralised in the master station, while the reduced wiring will simplify diagnosis and repair."

The key CC-Link Safety master and remote I/O devices have been certified to IEC 61508, SIL 3, and EN 954-1, Cat 4. Many CLPA member companies are said to be developing CC-Link Safety compatible products. Mitsubishi has produced safety master and remote I/O devices based on its Melsec-QS range of controls.

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