The CC-Link Partners Association (CLPA) reports that it now has more than 1500 members and the worldwide installed base now exceeds 8.5million devices. These two facts underscore CLPA's position as one of the world's largest fieldbus organisations.
European Acting General Manager John Browett comments: "This is just one of several milestones we have passed in recent months. We have just had the tenth anniversary of our founding, and there are now over 1100 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 is safe to say that this time has passed. The fact that CLPA has now passed the 1500 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 1500 members shows that it has become firmly established as a global standard. A quick look shows significant membership in the USA 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 one-third of the total membership.
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 one million nodes per year. This growth is set to accelerate, as the opportunities afforded by its status as a key enabling technology for the 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 Dusseldorf, Germany. A new training centre was opened in Lodz, Poland, in association with key partners Mitsubishi Electric and Festo. Finally, a new multilingual website was unveiled recently, meaning that all key European markets can obtain CC-Link materials in their native languages.
CC-Link is available in several different variants, including as a gigabit Ethernet open network. All retain the key features of very high reliability, availability and serviceability. Indeed in 2010 the network was re-launched as 'The Non-Stop Open Network' in 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."