POWERLINK Software-Based Communication System

POWERLINK from B&R Industrial Automation is a software-based communication system which can be used with all types of automation applications.

Powerlink Can Screenshot 11300813

Developed by B&R Industrial Automation Corp., POWERLINK is a software-based communication system that delivers real-time performance.

  • Well suited to all types of automation applications including I/O, Motion Control, robotics tasks, PLC-to-PLC communication and visualization
  • Open source version available
  • Integrates entire range of CANopen mechanisms
  • Fully complies with IEEE 802.3 Ethernet standard
  • Protocol provides all standard Ethernet features including cross-traffic and hot plugging capability, and allows for deploying any network topology of choice
  • Uses mixture of timeslot and polling procedures to achieve isochronous data transfer
  • PLC or Industrial PC is designated as the Managing Node (MN) in order to ensure coordination
  • MN enforces cycle timing that serves to synchronize all devices and controls cyclical data communication
  • All other devices operate as Controlled Nodes (CN)
  • During course of one clock cycle MN sends “Poll Requests” to one CN after another in a fixed sequence and Every CN replies immediately with a “Poll Response” on which all other nodes can listen in
  • Cycle consists of three periods
  • During “Start Period” MN sends a “Start of Cycle” (SoC) frame to all CNs to synchronize devices
  • Cyclic isochronous data exchange takes place during the second period (Cyclic Period)
  • Multiplexing allows for optimized bandwidth use in this phase
  • Third period marks start of the asynchronous phase, which enables transfer of large, non-time-critical data packets, which is scattered between the asynchronous phases of several cycles
  • Distinguishes between real-time and non-real-time domains
  • Routers separate data safely and transparently from real-time domains because data transfer in asynchronous period supports standard IP frames
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