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Launch of CC-Link IE and PROFINET interoperability specification

The CC-Link Partner Association (CLPA) and PROFIBUS & PROFINET International (PI) have delivered on their announcement to allow easy interoperability between CC-Link IE and PROFINET - as the new joint specification is released at SPS/IPC/Drives 2016.

The new specification builds on an initial announcement at 2015's fair, where both network organisations promised to maximise the transparency between the two protocols.

Over the past year a working group, which includes members from leading networking experts Hilscher and Molex, has been drafting a specification to provide interoperability between the two protocols. The development was guided in part by the white paper distributed at 2015's fair, which in turn outlined the feedback of end users whose requests drove the cooperation.

Promoting transparency and ease of integration is one of the primary concerns for achieving concepts such as Industry 4.0. Many end users will source production machinery from across the world, which may result in machines in the same plant that communicate via differing protocols. This can lead to increased engineering work to achieve integration, as users are combining heterogeneous architectures that may not necessarily communicate as standard. End users of both networks flagged these challenges to both the CLPA and PI, who reacted quickly via the new cooperation to find solutions.

CC-Link IE is an acknowledged technology leader in the Asian Market, while PROFINET is most prevalent in Europe, therefore the new specification will greatly simplify integration and increase freedom of choice for end users who source production machinery globally. After less than a year of work, the specification will be made available to members of both organisations, which will allow them to develop hardware products to support the new specification.

The specification centres on the functionality of a 'coupler' device – which allows transparent communication between CC-Link IE and PROFINET. As a result, both networks can seamlessly share information. This can effectively achieve communication between differing parts of a line on separate networks, hugely increasing transparency and integration.

Both the CLPA and PI expect to see the first supported products coming to market sometime in 2017, with some partners already showing enthusiasm for the new collaboration. This will effectively mean that the original concerns of end users which sparked the collaboration will have been addressed in under two years, displaying both organisations' commitment to addressing users' needs.

Karsten Schneider, Chairman of PI commented: "We are delighted to offer our users direct solutions to their requirements, in conjunction with the CLPA, whose aims are synchronous with our own."

"The CLPA is pleased to be working with PI and our partners to offer support to end users who need this interoperability. The cooperation between CLPA and PI will directly help to make concepts such as Industry 4.0 a reality," continues Naomi Nakamura, Global Director of the CLPA. "Increased openness and accessibility is what our end users demanded, so we are pleased to be able to support them fully with this new specification."

To learn more about the CLPA please visit

To discover the latest developments from PI, please visit

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 Industrie 4.0 and Industrial IoT.

About the CC-Link Partner Association (CLPA)

The CLPA is an international organization founded in 2000 dedicated to the technical development and promotion of the CC-Link family of open automation networks. The CLPA's key technology is CC-Link IE, the world's first and only open gigabit Ethernet for automation and an ideal solution for Industry 4.0 applications due to its unmatched bandwidth. Currently the CLPA has over 2,800 member companies worldwide, with more than 1,500 certified products available from over 300 manufacturers. CC-Link is the leading open industrial automation network technology in Asia and is becoming increasingly popular in Europe and the Americas.

Editor Contact

DMA Europa Ltd. : Anne-Marie Howe
Tel: +44 (0)1562 751436
Fax: +44 (0)1562 748315

Company Contact

CLPA-Europe : John Browett
Tel: +44 (0) 7768 338708
Fax: +49 (0) 2102 532 9740

Fumihiko Kimura, CLPA Chairman, und Karsten Schneider, PI Chairman.