Product Details Supplier Info More products

A CC-Link industrial network supplied by the CC-Link Partner Association (CLPA) is helping the Changan Ford Mazda Nanjing Company in China, established by automotive companies Ford and Mazda in 2004, to stay flexible.

The plant is based on Mazda’s ‘triangle control’ concept and produces multiple models, meaning a high degree of flexibility is required. The hierarchical triangle control concept is intended to address plant control at all levels, from model data at the top to actuators and sensors at the bottom.

As a hierarchical system, network plays a key role — and the network Mazda chose was CC-Link. Its architecture ensures flexibility in the body shop, for example, where the line must be able to cope with the production of various models.

The entire shop is automated thanks to the use of Mitsubishi controllers and the CC-Link network. The system is divided into 24 stations, with each having multiple controllers in charge of three or four welding robots. A further 10 stations handle the under-body operations.

Key benefits of product application

  • CC-Link is helping to maintain operational flexibility by allowing production engineers to reserve future configurations.
  • The plug-and-play network configuration has reportedly significantly reduced project lead times at the plant.
  • CC-Link is reliable even in adverse conditions, as is demonstrated on the plant’s welding line; despite the hostile operating environment, the line has run for approximately seven years without experiencing any hardware failure or network-malfunction-related downtime.
  • The system is easily maintained thanks to its network diagnostics; there is no need for complicated parameter settings, and the engineering team has found it easy to create clear diagnostic displays to allow operators to see network status at a glance.
  • If faults were to occur, CC-Link allows malfunctioning stations to be removed from the network, serviced and then returned to operation without disrupting operation for the rest of the line.
  • The cost-saving benefits of CC-Link were a key factor in its selection, as was the use of standard cabling; the lack of special connectors and other hardware also contributed to cost effectiveness.
  • Despite large station totals and long-distance requirements, CC-Link is able to offer millisecond update times, well within the plant’s requirements for data flow and machine cycle times.

CC-Link Partner Association (CLPA)

The CLPA is the organisation of manufacturers of CC-Link compatible products and users of CC-Link technology. The CLPA oversees and manages the CC-Link specifications, provides technical support and conformance testing and promotes the worldwide adoption of the CC-Link open automation network technologies. The CLPA was formed in November 2000. Global adoption of CC-Link is demonstrated by the following:

  • Over 12 million CC-Link devices have been installed
  • There are more than 2,100 members of the CC-Link Partner Association
  • There are more than 1,300 certified CC-Link products available from over 280 manufacturers

CC-Link is acknowledged by third party research to be the leading choice for open automation networks in Asia. By adding CC-Link to their portfolio, companies will be able to access up to 20% of the Asian market not accessible to Western technologies. To assist companies with this, the CLPA offers the “Gateway to Asia” (G2A) programme, G2A provides development and marketing assistance to companies who join the CLPA and develop CC-Link products.

View full profile