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The CLPA’s CC-Link open automation network platform has been enhanced with the addition of energy management functions to create a combined energy and production management control system.

The new CC-Link IE Energy capabilities are designed to allow managers to easily monitor energy consumption by individual machines or processes over the same networks they are already using for general control purposes.

According to the company, CC-Link handles both control and information data at high speed to provide efficient, integrated factory and process automation.

It is available in a 10Mbps fieldbus version or a 1Gbps Industrial Ethernet version called CC-Link IE. Both versions are said to offer full determinism and support the new energy management features.

Key benefits

  • CC-Link IE Energy offers the ability to monitor many energy-consuming devices individually and in real time, helping to optimise each device.
  • Without CC-Link IE Energy, collecting data from each device and determining how to optimise it would be complicated and therefore impractical.
  • Easily installed using a single cable network, CC-Link IE Energy will control entire production systems and feed real-time production information through to enterprise management IT systems.
  • The new CC-Link IE Energy functions deliver the close and low-cost monitoring of energy consumption right down to the level of the individual device.
  • A controller connected into the network can analyse data in real time and issue energy management instructions; an example of this would be to alter the status of a device between on, off and standby modes in relation to scheduled times for shift changeovers or lunch breaks.
  • The controller could also power down devices or switch them to idling mode if they are unlikely to be used for a period of time.
  • The net result of CC-Link IE Energy is to provide real-time energy visualisation level management reports.
  • Combining production and control information with energy information will enable simultaneous cross-optimisation of operational control and energy management.
  • CC-Link IE Energy can be used to adjust power consumption to prevent it from exceeding contract maximums and thus incurring higher tariffs; this can often be achieved by switching various pieces of equipment to standby mode or by setting motor-driven equipment to their minimum energy speed when appropriate, thus reducing overall consumption.

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.

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