Compliant, Recommended or Reference?

by The CC-Link Team on 16 February 2011

When building a CC-Link network, it is important to understand the different terminology applied to the components that go to make up the network. Because while it may well be possible to create a network using many components that are not necessarily intended for use in CC-Link networks, it is only by using the correct components in critical parts of the network that users can be sure that they will benefit from the reliability and performance that is inherent in the CC-Link networking standards. For this reason, the CC-Link Partner Association has defined three categories of products for use in CC-Link networks: Compliant, Recommended and Reference.

All the critical elements in any CC-Link network should be CC-Link Compliant. This means that each product has passed all the required tests and has been approved by the CC-Link Partner Association. Only products that have been through the full approvals process can ever be described as CC-Link Compliant, and a full list of products fulfilling these criteria can be found on the CC-Link Partner Association website.

Beyond the critical elements of the network, however, there are many networking components that are common to many different network types. So, for example, as CC-Link IE uses the standard Ethernet physical layer, it is not generally necessary (or practical) to conduct a full compliance test for such components as they already meet the Ethernet specifications. However, to enhance user confidence, the CC-Link Partner Association offers a “Recommended” certification that shows these parts have still been tested by the CLPA, albeit to a different level than “Compliant” products.

Finally, CC-Link Reference products are those for which the testing process is not really applicable, because they do not operate directly on the network. Examples of “Reference” products include software used to set up or maintain a network, such as Mitsubishi’s GX Developer engineering suite.

Wherever possible we would urge users to build their networks using CC-Link Compliant, Recommended and Reference products. Because all such products have been rigorously tested they will ensure the high availability for which the CC-Link fieldbus is renowned. Full lists of CC-Link Compliant, Recommended and Reference products are available from the CC-Link Partner Association website. And as more and more manufacturers appreciate the benefits of certification, these lists are growing each month.

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