The CC-Link Safety Network

by The CC-Link Team on 16 March 2011

With increasing numbers of companies appreciating the benefits of using safety networks as opposed to discrete solutions, the appeal of the CC-Link Safety standard continues to grow. However, one of the most appealing aspects of CC-Link Safety is that in addition to the list of products approved specifically for CC-Link Safety networks, builders can also make use of standard CC-Link cable and CC-Link remote stations.

The CC-Link safety standard enables the construction of networks with up to 42 stations, and there are a number of slave modules available to enable network developers to exploit this capacity to its maximum. For example, Mitsubishi offers safety remote I/O modules with choices of four, eight or 12 I/O lines, enabling great flexibility in the connection of safety devices such as safety E-stop switches and light curtains, while further standard CC-Link slave devices can be connected via these safety modules for additional inputs from sensors, relays and the like.

These safety I/O modules also meet the IEC61508 SIL3 and ISO13849-1 category 4 safety levels, ensuring that networks can be used in all safety applications. Furthermore, in-built diagnostics in each module ensure the highest possible integrity. These include memory diagnosis, circuit block diagnosis and the like, with modules powering down if any fault is detected. So-called “dark” tests (diagnosis of stuck failure of junctions) can diagnose any failure in external safety devices connected to the modules.

Also available for CC-Link Safety networks, Panasonic has developed a novel digital I/O module that simplifies the creation of complex safety circuits. The SF-CL1T264T enables the networking of light curtains and other safety devices with considerably reduced wiring.

The full list of CC-Link Safety Partner Products is continually growing, and can be accessed from the CC-Link Partner Association website.

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