The global footprint of CC-Link IE and CC-Link has maintained its average double digit annual growth rate, with the total number of devices installed worldwide reaching 14.75 million as of March 2015, compared to 12.6 million in March 2014.
CC-Link was originally developed in Japan by Mitsubishi Electric, which transferred its intellectual property rights to the CC-Link Partner Association in 2000. This allowed any company to develop compatible products, so that its take-up and further development became organic and rapid.
Further, users like such open technologies because they are not locked into a single supplier for their automation equipment. Instead, they can pick and mix from an ever-increasing number of manufacturers. This allows them to select ‘best-in-class’ products and helps secure supply lines for future automation needs.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, CC-Link quickly became the favourite open automation network technology in Japan, and was soon the de facto standard in the globally important Asian manufacturing base. It has also spread around the rest of the world and is now one of the leading automation networks.
In order to optimise CC-Link development, the CLPA was formed and today has offices throughout Asia, in America and Europe. The European headquarters is in Germany, which also hosts test and certification facilities and runs the Gateway to Asia business programme, which helps members set up and run operations in key Asian markets.
An important step in the advance of CC-Link was the launch of the industrial Ethernet protocol, CC-Link IE. This is the first technology to provide gigabit transmission rates with full determinism. This makes it a key technology for support of Industry 4.0 applications, where the sharing of large amounts of data in real time is becoming a key requirement. CC-Link IE is up to 10 times faster than most other industrial Ethernet-based protocols and this performance is maintained throughout the entire network, right down to the level of individual field devices.
John Browett, General Manager of CLPA-Europe, says: “CC-Link IE combines the best of existing technologies and applies them in a highly reliable architecture that provides exceptional data bandwidth with deterministic performance. Other benefits include a flexible topology and the ability to have hot back-up.
“Since the worldwide economic slowdown of 7–8 years ago, the installed base of CC-Link devices has more than doubled, and the rate of new installations continues to grow at a double digit pace on average. CLPA membership is also showing strong growth, with initiatives such as the Gateway to Asia programme, international conferences and fairs, continuing establishment of local offices and facilities, and Ethernet developments all contributing to our continuing success.”
For more information about CC-Link IE and CC-Link please visit www.cc-link-g2a.com.