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CC-Link adds energy management functions

31 December, 2012

Energy management functions have been added to the CC-Link automation network to create a combined energy and production management control system. The new CC-Link IE Energy monitors the energy being consumed by individual devices, machines or processes in real time, using the same single-cable network as for general control

The data gathered can be analysed by a controller connected to the network, which then issues energy management instructions. For example, it could switch a device between on, off and standby modes, or power down devices or make them idle if they are unlikely to be used for a period of time.

It can also be used to stop power consumption from exceeding contract maximums, and thus incurring penalties. This can often be achieved by setting motor driven-equipment to run at a minimum speed, when appropriate.

The system can provide real-time reports of energy consumption. Production and control information can be combined with the energy information to allow simultaneous optimisation of both operational controls and energy consumption.

“We added motion and safety control capabilities to the network about a year ago,” says John Browett, general manager of the CC-Link Partner Association. “With the additional energy management functions, CC-Link IE Energy is fulfilling its promise of being a single high-performance, open Ethernet technology that offers all automation features required by today’s applications.”

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