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CC-Link IE and PROFINET goes collaboration for a transparent network infrastructure

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The CC-Link Partner Association (CLPA) and PI (PROFIBUS & PROFINET International) are announcing a close collaboration with the objective of promoting and disseminating the use of open industrial networks. As users aspire to be ready for Industry 4.0 or the Industrial Internet of Things based manufacturing systems easy integration of various networks, such as CC-Link IE and PROFINET, is essential for this.

Digital communication using a fieldbus or Industrial Ethernet is already widely used in modern production plants and is an important building block for increasing productivity. The demand for intelligent communication will continue to increase due to megatrends such Industry 4.0 and IIoT. However, the heterogeneous landscape of Industrial Ethernet standards that has existed for years poses the problem that devices and machines of different communication systems are in themselves unable to exchange data. Machine builders are therefore forced to equip their machines with different networks, or plant owners are limited in their selection of suitable machines. Consequently to overcome this there has been a growing need for manufacturer-specific transfer specifications and complicated bespoke converters.

 

CC-Link IE + PROFINET

CC-Link IE + PROFINET (image. CLPA)

 

With their cooperation, CLPA and PI aim to enable transparent and easy bi-directional communication between CC-Link IE and PROFINET devices through standardized interfaces. To this end a joint working group is being established to develop the necessary technical specifications to achieve this goal. When work on the specifications is complete, it will be available to members of both organizations for implementation.

”With the CC-Link Partner Association, we have gained a comparable partner whose networks are being used in many industries worldwide,” said Karsten Schneider, Chairman of PI.
”This will give users more flexibility when building their IIoT, Industry 4.0, or e-F@ctory enabled systems,” confirmed Naomi Nakamura, Global Director of CLPA. ”With the combined global network of CLPA offices and PI associations and the large number of available devices from members of both organizations, together we can open up additional markets for our members. As a result, the use of CC-Link IE and PROFINET will grow even faster.”

CLPA and PI to cooperate for a transparent network infrastructure

CLPA and PI to cooperate for a transparent network infrastructure

 

[About CLPA]
The CC-Link Partner Association (CLPA) is an international organization with over 2,400 member companies worldwide. The partners’ common objective is promotion and technical development of the family of CC-Link open network technologies with the focus on helping their joint customers achieve their integrated manufacturing aspirations.
CC-Link IE’s 1Gbit performance, ideal for capturing large volumes of data, as well as its flexible topology culminating in its SLMP protocol (Seamless Messaging Protocol) which allows it to span from CC-Link IE and CC-Link to SLMP enabled devices on standard Ethernet, have already been selected as fundamental/core technologies behind total automation initiatives such as Mitsubishi Electric’s e-F@ctory; thus allowing customers to create the infrastructure required to meet the challenges of initiatives such as Industry 4.0, IIoT, China Manufacturing 2025 etc.
The CLPA organization is the driving force behind developing new open standards in industrial communication while also supporting the device development activities of its members as well as certification of those devices as a quality control and maintenance of the open networking environment. In addition the CLPA actively conducts promotional activities on behalf of its members to gain the wider acceptance and use of advanced CC-Link based networking technologies.
The current boards of the CLPA are: 3M, Balluff, Cisco, Cognex, Idec, Mitsubishi Electric, Molex, NEC and Digital (Proface)

[About PI (PROFIBUS and PROFINET International)]
PI (PROFIBUS & PROFINET International) is the largest worldwide operating automation community and responsible for PROFIBUS and PROFINET, the two leading industrial communications technologies in automation today. The common interest of the PI’s global network of vendors,developers, system integrators and end users is technical development and international promotion of these open fieldbus technologies. Currently, around 50 million PROFIBUS devices and 10 million PROFINET devices are installed worldwide. PI is supported by 26 regional associations (RPA).

This global network shares a common interest in a larger installed base, further development, and application of PROFIBUS and PROFINET. Under the PI umbrella there are over 50 active working groups responsible for the development, standardization, and increased market presence of PROFIBUS and PROFINET. In addition, there is a global PI network of accredited Test Labs as well as Training and Competence Centers, which meet international quality standards.

PROFINET, the globally leading Industrial Ethernet standard, is the only Industrial Ethernet standard that offers full openness for TCP/IP traffic combined with deterministic real time behavior for motion control application. Especially with the broad range of profiles, such as PROFIsafe, PROFIenergy and PROFIdrive, it is well prepared to serve as a backbone for Industry 4.0 and Industrial IoT.

 

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Rockwell Automation Joins Initiative to Bring OPC UA to Field-Level Devices

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Rockwell Automation is joining an OPC Foundation initiative to extend the OPC UA protocol to field-level industrial communications.

Under the initiative, a series of working groups are being formed to bring the OPC UA protocol’s vendor-independent, end-to-end interoperability to field-level devices. The initiative plans to address use cases not currently in scope for EtherNet/IP. It could also simplify other use cases, especially in multi-vendor, controller-to-controller environments and for the vertical integration of field devices.

“Rockwell Automation has always supported the development and use of open standards,” said Paul Brooks, business development manager, Rockwell Automation. “Extending the OPC UA protocol to the field level or shop floor can help simplify system development and accelerate a company’s journey to a Connected Enterprise.”

As the primary author of the EtherNet/IP specifications, Rockwell Automation understands EtherNet/IP users may see compatibility risks in technology developed for a different ecosystem. The company intends to mitigate these risks through both its ongoing development of EtherNet/IP and its intentions for the OPC UA protocol.

Rockwell Automation’s priorities within the new OPC Foundation initiative include working to help ensure the following:

OPC UA specifications are written with the same level of rigor and completeness as the EtherNet/IP specifications.
Time-sensitive networking (TSN) is commonly applied across the OPC UA, EtherNet/IP and PROFINET protocols, so all three can coexist on a common TSN-based network.
OPC UA pub/sub technology is implemented in a way that allows existing EtherNet/IP installations to support OPC UA devices.
OPC UA hardware requirements allow the protocol to be deployed on hardware platforms that are common in today’s EtherNet/IP components.
OPC UA software requirements allow the protocol to be deployed within current EtherNet/IP-centric software tools without significant changes to user workflows.
Conformance test practices mandated for EtherNet/IP reflect the necessary requirements for OPC UA conformance testing.

“We are committed to these priorities to help make sure EtherNet/IP users have a choice of whether and when they migrate to the new OPC UA protocol,” Brooks said. “We want users to determine the pace of this migration based on the value that they receive, rather than technology choices made in the specification. We trust that others engaged in the initiative will share this common goal.”

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[#SPS] Weidmüller and KEBA announced strengthened partnership for digitalisation and automation

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The electronics company Weidmüller and the Austrian expert for industrial automation KEBA are now collaborating to complement each other’s digitalisation and automation portfolios.

Both companies announced this partnership on the occasion of SPS 2018 in Nuremberg. The collaboration focuses on shared offers for industrial automation technology with a focus on the area of machinery and plant engineering. Both companies also want to promote the utilisation of artificial intelligence (AI) in automation.

Weidmüller and KEBA partnership

Weidmüller and KEBA partnership for automation solutions

“We are happy to have found an experienced partner in industrial automation with KEBA who will help to complement our automation expertise. Combining u-control and the KEBA Engineering Suite ideally supports our customers with the implementation of ambitious automation concepts and Industry 4.0 solutions,” explains Volker Bibelhausen, CTO of the Weidmüller Group.

Michael Matthesius, Head of the Automation Products & Solutions division at Weidmüller sees this the same way: “When two excellent companies like Weidmüller and KEBA cooperate, our customers can be sure that one plus one will equal more than two in this case.”

Gerhard Luftensteiner, CEO of KEBA AG adds: “We are convinced that our product and service offerings for industrial customers complement each other ideally. From now on, customers looking for excellent digitalisation and automation solutions for Industry 4.0 will benefit from our combined expertise.”

With the cooperation, Weidmüller with its headquarters in Detmold, Germany, and KEBA based in Linz, Austria, are striving for a coordinated representation at the customer with a focus on the area of machinery and plant engineering in their respective markets. In so doing, the partners will mutually provide relevant components of their portfolios to each other.

KEBA will mainly contribute its open software solutions and parts of its control architecture, while Weidmüller will primarily contribute its u-mation product family expanded for SPS 2018 and its innovative industrial analytics offerings to the collaboration. Both companies rely on a close collaboration to further develop the product, solution and service offerings.

KEBA, founded in 1968 in Linz, is an expert for industrial automation with a focus on series machine engineering, robotics and plastics engineering as well as banking automation, electric mobility, logistics solutions, lottery solutions and heating controls.

Weidmüller, based in Detmold, Germany, is an expert for automation, digitalisation, communication and connecting components such as software and solutions, especially for industry. Both companies are privately owned.

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New Anybus gateways open an easy and secure path to IIoT via MQTT and OPC UA

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HMS Industrial Networks has announced the release the new gateway families Anybus Communicator IIoT and Anybus X-gateway IIoT with support for MQTT and OPC UA, enabling data connectivity between equipment on all major industrial networks and IIoT applications.

The new gateway families Anybus Communicator IIoT and Anybus X-gateway IIoT from HMS open a straight-forward and powerful path to IIoT thanks to the new support for MQTT and OPC UA in combination with a complete coverage of industrial communication standards.

System integrators, machine builders and device manufacturers can benefit from the fact that data from virtually any industrial equipment communicating on industrial Ethernet, fieldbuses, CAN or serial protocols can be transmitted to IT systems and IoT software in an easy and secure way.

Connect anything to IIoT-applications

Regardless if the data is generated in a single device, a series of machines or entire automation systems, Communicator IIoT and X-gateway IIoT allow the data to be seamlessly integrated, monitored and analyzed from modern IIoT-systems.

Data from new as well as existing industrial equipment can be integrated allowing for improved transparency and decision-making across facilities, increased productivity as well as a more sustainable approach to manufacturing.

Anybus gateway

Anybus gateways to IIoT

As easy as IIoT can get!

Anybus Communicator IIoT specializes on providing data from devices on serial protocols and CAN, while Anybus X-gateway IIoT integrates data from fieldbuses and industrial Ethernet networks. Typical use cases for the gateways involve data integration from e.g. Modbus RTU and TCP, CAN-based protocols, PROFIBUS-DP, EtherNet/IP, PROFINET, EtherCAT, POWERLINK and CC-Link.

Existing users will feel at home since no programming is needed and the configuration logic of the existing Communicator and X-gateway stays the same in these new IIoT-versions. By using the free configuration tool Anybus Configuration Manager, ACM, users can easily configure, convert and tag the desired industrial data for efficient use in IT-systems or IIoT applications. When setting up the IT-connection, the gateways can be presented either as MQTT Client or OPC-UA server.

A secure connection to IT and IIoT

The fact that Anybus Communicator IIoT and Anybus X-gateway IIoT are standalone hardware between OT (operational technology) and IT, ensures a high level of security. After installation, only one-way data flow from OT to IT is allowed through the gateways, which means that the industrial equipment and systems that are connected to the gateways stay isolated from any potential attack from the IT side. For example, instead of being directly connected to IT, a PLC on an underlying industrial network can safely and securely connect and transmit data through the gateways, without risking to be attacked.

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