The importance of high availability in industrial networking

by The CC-Link Team on 20 October 2010

High availability is is an essential criterion in specifying any industrial network. High numbers of network failures and extended outages caused by such failures are simply unacceptable in any manufacturing environment, where time quite literally is money.

In addition to its blistering 1Gbit/s throughput, the CC-Link IE network is designed specifically to enable high network availability, particularly in larger networks, by reducing both the incidence and the duration of any network error.

CC-Link IE uses a loop network topology to deal with errors that might be caused by broken cables or station failures. And when configured with a dual cable, a built-in loopback function will maintain CC-Link IE communication should a cable break. Once a cable break has caused an error, the cyclic communication protocol is used to identify the segment where the break occurred, reducing the time required to locate and repair the error. This facility allows the network to maintain real-time communication without interruption for single failures.

In addition, and particularly relevant in larger networks, CC-Link IE allows for redundant control, so that if one control station fails, another station will automatically take over the control of the network and maintain communication. What’s more, should two control stations fail at once, the network will split and one station will take control of each segment.

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