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CC-Link passes 1,500 member and 8,500,000 device mark

18 July 2011

The CC-Link Partners Association (CLPA) continues to increase its global strength. 2011 has now seen the 1,500th member join, while the worldwide installed base has now exceeded 8.5 million devices. These two events have further secured its position as one of the world’s largest fieldbus organisations. “This is just one of several milestones we have passed in recent months,” says European acting general manager John Browett.

“We’ve just had the tenth anniversary of our founding, and there are now over 1,100 certified products available from over 240 different manufacturers. In the past, when companies were specifying networks, possibly CC-Link was not always the first choice. However, I think it’s safe to say that this time has passed. The fact that CLPA has now passed the 1,500 member milestone shows that we are firmly established on the shortlist of networks companies are building their systems with.”

While CC-Link originated as an Asian market technology, the geographical breakdown of the current 1,500 members shows that it has become firmly established as a global standard.. A quick look shows significant membership in the US and Europe, as well as Asian nations such as China, Korea and Taiwan. While the technology was born in Japan, today Japanese members account for only about a third of the total membership, a further demonstration of its global acceptance.

CC-Link is one of the newer open network technologies, having been established for just over 10 years. However, during this relatively short history, it has shown significant sustained growth of close to 1,000,000 nodes per year. This growth is set to accelerate as the opportunities afforded by its status as a key enabling technology for the hot Chinese market become more widely known.

At the same time, support for Europe has been a key CLPA priority. This has been driven by the demand from European companies eager to expand their businesses both in Asia and at home. CLPA has met these demands in a number of ways. First, a European conformance test centre was opened near Düsseldorf, Germany. A new training centre was opened in Lodz, Poland, in association with key partners Mitsubishi Electric and Festo. Finally, a new multilanguage website was unveiled recently, meaning that all key European markets can obtain CC-Link materials in their native languages, further improving the penetration of the technology.

CC-Link is available in several different variants, including the world’s only gigabit Ethernet open network. All retain the key features of very high reliability, availability and serviceability – the ability to maintain operations even under the most difficult of conditions. Indeed in 2010 the network was re-launched as “The Non-Stop Open Network™”, an attempt to capture how the technical benefits translate into business benefits of sustained productivity even under adverse conditions.

Browett concludes: “In the end, while membership and node counts are important measures of success, what really matters for machine builders and end users is knowing a technology is mature, proven and sustainable. I think CC-Link has proven it ticks all these boxes.”

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