TÜV Certifies Mechatrolink Network Safety Protocol
September 14, 2011 - The Mechatrolink Members Association (MMA) announced that its Mechatrolink motion control network meets industry safety standards. Certification was received after an independent third party, TÜV Rheinland, confirmed that these specifications satisfied the requirements of IEC61508 safety integrity level SIL3.
A safety system can be constructed using the Mechatrolink network by simply adding a safety master such as a safety PLC and safety slaves, such as safety I/O devices, to the existing system. No special cabling is required for connecting Mechatrolink Safety compliant devices; standard Mechatrolink cables can be used. Up to 61 safety slave devices can be connected. The Mechatrolink Safety protocol and the Mechatrolink standard protocol can co-exist on the same network.
Mechatrolink is the most widely used motion control network in Asia. The certification of the Mechatrolink field network for safety makes it possible for MMA members to build motion control and machine control systems for use in applications that comply with safety standards.
Mechatrolink connects devices such as servo motors, servo amps and I/O to each other and to motion controllers such as PLCs, PACs and motion controllers. Mechatrolink is available in both RS-485 and Ethernet versions, operates at speeds up to 100 Mbps, and can support up to 62 simultaneous devices.
The MMA’s Safety Working Group developed the specifications for the safety communications protocol. The Safety Working Group consists of seven corporate members: Inter Factory Partners Co., Ltd.; Digital Electronics Corporation; Nikki Denso Co., Ltd.; HIMA Japan; Magnescale Co., Ltd.; Yaskawa Electric Corporation; and Yokogawa Electric Corporation.
About the MMA
MMA membership has reached the 900 member plateau, including 50 firms in North America. The MMA is a group of Mechatrolink product developers and users who promote the use of Mechatrolink, an industrial network optimized for motion control.
The MMA is an independent non-profit organization that makes Mechatrolink specifications and operating parameters available to all. The organization also works to ensure that products labeled as MMA-compatible meet the relevant specifications. The MMA is continually improving network performance and actively recruiting new members.
Over the last 20 years since Mechatrolink was established, more than two million Mechatrolink devices have been shipped, and more than 300 different products have been certified to Mechatrolink specifications. Device profiles for motion nodes have been clearly defined and proved effective over two decades of development and use.
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