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EMAIL INTERVIEW - Charles Lukasik & Ken Sinclair
Director of the CC-Link Partner Association
Chuck Lukasik has been the Director of the CC-Link Partner Association since 2000 where he has promoted CC-Link open network technology for industrial automation and building automation applications. He has developed relationships with equipment manufacturers in order to embed CC-Link compatibility into their products. In his previous positions, Chuck has been Marketing Vice President at an electrical actuator manufacturer and a PLC Product Marketing Manager and Distributor Network Manager at Square D Company-Automation Business. Chuck holds an Engineering degree from Marquette University and a Masters degree in management.
CC-Link Communication Network
The CC-Link communication network is a high speed, high performance industrial network technology that enables devices from numerous manufacturers to communicate resulting in a fast, deterministic control system.
Sinclair: I understand that CC-Link had some recent success in Brazil?
Lukasik: Yes, CC-Link has been successfully employed in several different industries. For example, CC-Link was the network backbone for the automation of the Bernini Apartment Buildings in Rio de Janiero. These are two 15-floor structures where the building automation system monitors and controls:
Levels of all water reservoirs – pump control for water usage in the overall landscaping plan, water fountains, pools and lagoons
Air quality and climate – fan control for proper air circulation within the hallways, elevators and ground floor general public areas within the building
Lighting systems – for controlling the lighting of internal public areas and outdoor lighting around the building and landscaped areas
Security “Panic” buttons in public areas – allowing fast alerting of security personnel
Operator interface panels to display real-time status of the various building and security systems
The use of CC-Link networking reduces electrical wiring costs and provides increased system and building diagnostics that provide important data for the maintenance staff to improve the overall maintenance and safety of the entire facility. This CC-Link building automation system has been installed and operating for more than three years without a single failure.
In addition to apartment building automation, CC-Link has been used at the Mantecorp facility in Rio de Janeiro. Mantecorp is one of the largest pharmaceutical manufacturers in Brazil. It produces widely recognized product lines and brands that are valued by physicians and consumers for Primary Care, Specialty Care, and Consumer use. The Mantecorp facility produces over 100 million units of products and medication for human use. With a total area of 300,000 square meters and 50,000 square meters of industrial facilities, it is one of the most modern plants in the country’s pharmaceutical industry.
The CC-Link network enables communication and control of the major systems of this facility which include:
Air conditioning and refrigeration for both process and environmental control
Filtration and water handling
Steam and air handling
Sterilization of air for process areas
The CC-Link communication network is also the pathway for system data to the operator control panels and computer screen displays.
Although the above described applications are in Brazil, there are many more applications in North America, Europe, and Asia.
Sinclair: For those who are not familiar, what is CC-Link?
Lukasik: The CC-Link communication network is a high speed, high performance industrial network technology that enables devices from numerous manufacturers to communicate resulting in a fast, deterministic control system. CC-Link is an open-architecture network that was originally developed by Mitsubishi Electric, a global leader in automation and motion control products. CC-Link became an open-technology network in 2000 and is now managed by the CC-Link Partner Association (CLPA) with offices throughout the world. There are now more than 6.5 million installed CC-Link nodes and user companies can select from over 1000 CC-Link compatible products manufactured by hundreds of companies from around the globe. These products include industrial PCs, PLCs, operator interfaces, robots, servos, drives, valve manifolds, digital & analog I/O modules, temperature controllers, mass flow controllers, bar code & RFID readers, and many others.
Sinclair: How does is CC-Link differ from other systems?
Lukasik: CC-Link operates at higher speeds than many other networks of its class resulting in better control operation; it is much easier to configure and start-up than other networks; and it is more reliable and less affected by electrical noise than other networks.
Sinclair: Is CC-Link compatible with most common equipment such as variable frequency drives, motors, ….?
Lukasik: CC-Link is compatible with more than 1000 automation products manufactured by hundreds of companies from around the globe. These products include industrial PCs, PLCs, operator interfaces, variable speed drives, pneumatic valve manifolds, servos, digital & analog I/O modules, temperature controllers, mass flow controllers, bar code & RFID readers, and many others. These products undergo rigorous testing by the CC-Link Partner Association to ensure conformance and proper operation with the CC-Link communication network. After successful testing these products receive a certification notice so that users can purchase these compatible products with the confidence that they will properly communicate with each other.
Sinclair: You are the director of the CC-Link Partner Association?
Lukasik: Yes, I am the director of the CC-Link Partner Association-Americas. The CLPA-Americas branch serves North, Central, and South America. There are additional CLPA branches in Europe, Japan, China, South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore. CLPA-Americas has application engineering personnel on staff to assist members in applying CC-Link technology, and to perform conformance testing and product certification. The CLPA oversees and manages the CC-Link specifications and promotes the worldwide adoption of CC-Link technology for network communications in industrial and building automation.
Sinclair: Where can specifying engineers, equipment OEMs, and others obtain more information about CC-Link for automated buildings?
Lukasik: More information can be obtained from our website: www.cclinkamerica.org or by phoning 1-847-478-2341.
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