How the CLPA supports vendor product development

Since its inception in 2000, the CLPA has been a driving force in the advancement and promotion of better industrial Ethernet solutions for Industry 4.0. In the current environment, there is plenty of scope for vendors to create new products that meet customer needs. However, the ensure that these are met, there needs to be an open development eco-system that matches vendor options.

To meet market demand, each product will require its own development environment, but what will it look like?

Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN) has emerged as the largest and fastest growing technology to support Industry 4.0 applications, with more and more manufacturers looking to implement it to realise enterprise-wide communications based on a single network solution, such as CC-Link IE TSN. In effect, TSN has the ability to support IT/OT convergence while also delivering highly deterministic data transfer performance.

Stage 1 – Decisions

To address the need for more automation devices with TSN functions, over 25 hardware and software solutions from over ten companies are available for vendors interested in ensuring compatibility with CC-Link IE TSN. The more options there are, the easier it will be to create a product that meets a customer’s need for interoperability and reliability. With multiple development tools available, it is clear that each option offers specific features and advantages. Thus, the first critical step for a vendor is to identify the right one. To do that, the first step consists of deciding whether to develop a master, remote, or local station.

Stage 2 – Development

To foster the development of new products with TSN functions, we have put together a support system with resources such as:

  • Development Method Guide that details the process flow for developing CC-Link IE TSN compatible products
  • Development Tools to make it easier and faster to develop new devices
  • Seminars/Webinars hosted by our organisation and board members, accessible by everyone regardless of experience
  • Technical specifications and any other important information needed to assure compatibility with our network technologies
  • Technical support from our team of experts
  • Conformance testing with the latest testing equipment in our laboratories

Stage 3 – Compliance testing

After creating a product, its capabilities must be tested. This will ensure that all network standards are met and that they are effectively implemented. At this stage, any performance issues are highlighted, enabling automation vendors to address these issues and deliver devices that perform as expected and do not experience or cause any incompatibility issues.

We have a global testing network at the CLPA that provides standardised product testing for vendors wherever they are located. To learn more about our members or to join us at CLPA, click here.