Intelligent Machine Monitoring Connections

A look at how CC-Link IE’s Seamless Message Protocol simplifies integration of Schaeffler’s FAG SmartCheck for potential use within Industrial Internet of Things applications.

John Wozniak Senior network specialist, CC-Link Partner Association
John Wozniak Senior network specialist, CC-Link Partner Association

Schaeffler Technologies AG & Co. has extended its intelligent machine monitoring capabilities with its FAG SmartCheck monitoring system, offered by Schaeffler Technologies’ FAG Industrial Services group. The monitoring system detects early signs of potential damage to rotating machines and instantly alerts the operators and/or control system so that appropriate action can be taken.

The system can also measure a number of parameters, such as temperature and vibration. If these go out of predefined tolerance limits, a signal is sent to the control system. The signal is transmitted via the CC-Link Partner Association’s (CLPA) Seamless Message Protocol (SLMP), a feature of the CC-Link IE open Ethernet-based network that allows users to integrate field devices with gigabit CC-Link IE network systems.

SLMP can be used with any Ethernet-compatible device including barcode readers, RFID scanners, sensors, weigh scales, etc., and communicates over a standard TCP/IP Ethernet physical layer network.

The key benefit of SLMP is that it provides a way for virtually any TCP/IP Ethernet-based device to connect to a CC-Link IE network without the need for hardware development. When we say virtually any TCP/IP Ethernet device can be connected to a CC-Link IE network, this includes everything from HMIs, PLCs and drives to printers, timers and sensors. Plus, since CC-Link IE and SLMP are open technologies, the technical specifications of both are freely available to companies who join the CLPA. Basic membership is free of charge.

SLMP is a simple client/server protocol and can therefore be implemented into firmware for 100 Mb devices. The devices can then connect to the
CC-Link IE network via an Ethernet adapter. This opens up CC-Link IE to the full range of device manufacturers, regardless of whether or not their devices support its gigabit performance.

CC-Link IE Field (CC-Link’s industrial Ethernet) can be used as part of an Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) infrastructure with the FAG SmartCheck monitoring system because of CC-Link IE Field’s large data bandwidth and seamless messaging capabilities from the sensor/bit device level to information management data collection systems.

Schaeffler Technologies has stated that integrating CC-Link technology into its products has been key in developing its condition monitoring solutions for use in a fully integrated process and automation world. As a long-standing member of CLPA, Schaeffler quickly realized the potential of SLMP. Its FAG SmartCheck is one of the first products in the world to be developed using it, which can now be used within industry for applications ranging from process optimization and lifecycle cost reduction to improving total cost of ownership benefits.

“The potential [for CC-Link IE SLMP] is enormous,” says Robert Miller, director of the CLPA in the Americas. “Now any product with Ethernet TCP/IP connectivity can be integrated into the 1 Gbps token CC-Link IE Field network. Device manufacturers can make their whole product range compatible with CC-Link IE at a stroke, while systems integrators and end users can add any device they like to their networks.”

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