More than 20 Chinese automation suppliers from Ethernet POWERLINK Association China (EPAC) participated in the Industrial Automation Show (IAS 2013) in Shanghai. The large crowds gathered around the POWERLINK booth bore testament to both the charm of open source and the level of trust POWERLINK has garnered in the Chinese market. By now, more than 100 Chinese product manufacturers have implemented POWERLINK in their products.
«The successful establishment of local technical support for POWERLINK has been a key step to providing developers with the easiest possible implementation,» explains POWERLINK promotion manager Wang Jinqiu. «This is yet another way that POWERLINK is proving to be the leader in real-time communication in China.»
Numerous products showcased
Among the field-proven POWERLINK-based products showcased at IAS 2013 were implementations from Maxsine, Washing CNC, STEP Electric, Inovance, KONNE Electronic, Han’s Laser, Intrustech, CASNUC, CSR Group, Hanru and TED SHANGHAI. Products from ABB, ASCO and SICK as well as the Insight 7000 vision system from Cognex also made an appearance.
One particular highlight, the high-performance master station from Washing CNC, represents the cutting edge of POWERLINK development in China. Independently optimizing POWERLINK’s open source stack for their CNC system, Washing CNC was able to achieve an impressive cycle time of only 30 μs. At the same time, integration of the Washing CNC system with the Maxsine servo system has helped further maximize CNC performance. Maxsine multi-axis drives also showcased their ability to connect to different masters – including B&R X20 CPUs, Washing CNC masters and ARM-based controllers developed in-house – further demonstrating Maxsine’s ability to provide machine builders with highly scalable total solutions.
Servo drives from STEP were also presented in a series of robotics applications. Like Han’s Laser, they showed that China’s domestic servo systems are a new force to be reckoned with. With POWERLINK, they quickly increase system performance and provide a solid foundation for OEMs seeking an edge on China’s booming robotics market.
Commitment to open source technology
POWERLINK redundancy has gained recognition from manufactures such as CSR and NARI in the rail, power and DCS industries, where highly reliable systems are essential. They value POWERLINK’s high data transfer rates, multiple redundancy solutions and flexible, rapid implementation. Above all, however, these state-owned enterprises – who must maintain independent intellectual property rights – welcome POWERLINK’s commitment to open source technology. With POWERLINK, they get state-of-the-art performance along with complete independence.
In addition, manufacturers such as Hanru, TED SHANGHAI, KW, Infoteam, ALTERA and Avnet have laid the foundation for the promotion of POWERLINK in China. They are helping their customers achieve rapid implementation at low cost by providing direct development support – including protocol stack transplantation and interface design of circuits as well as software and consistency testing.