At SPS/IPC/Drives in 2016, CLPA created a stir when it announced development work by CLPA partner Hilscher to create a 'coupler' between CC-Link IE and PROFINET, following the news of the cooperation between CLPA and PROFINET & PROFIBUS International (PI) to create a joint interoperability specification for the two networks. Now Hilscher has formally announced the launch of a coupler device, and at this year's SPS/IPC/Drives show CLPA is planning to demonstrate seamless sharing of information between the two networks.
CLPA will also show the first third party development support for CC-Link IE Field Basic (IEFB). Launched at SPS/IPC/Drives in 2016, IEFB is an extension to CC-Link IE that enables vendors to easily add CC-Link IE compatibility to any product with a 100Mbit Ethernet port. Easily implemented on devices or master controllers by software alone, it significantly reduces the cost of development and time to market for new devices. The companies now offering solutions for IEFB are CLPA partners Hilscher and Texas Instruments. These solutions will form part of a display on the CLPA stand at SPS/IPC/Drives 2017 highlighting CC-Link IE and CC-Link development options.
Work is also continuing between CLPA and the OPC Foundation to develop a companion specification on CC-Link IE and CC-Link for OPC UA. CLPA has now submitted a companion specification to OPC Foundation based on the "CSP+ for Machines" concept that will let users treat a whole machine as a single device, enabling drag-and-drop set-up and configurations of machine-to-cloud communications in an OPC UA environment.