Helukabel, a global manufacturer of cables, wires and accessories, has used CC-Link technologies to help its Asian operations build strong foundations in China and other growing markets in the region.
Founded in Germany in 1978, Helukabel has a product portfolio of over 33,000 in-stock line items, and can also manufacture custom cables, for industrial, infrastructure and office applications. The company manufactures over one million kilometres of cables per year.
With Asian markets becoming more important, Helukabel set up an operation in Taicang, near Shanghai, one of China's key industrial centres. Jurgen Berger, Helukabel's Senior Manager for Data, Network and Bus technologies, explains: "We were well aware the importance of CC-Link IE and CC-Link in the Asian market for industrial control. So in 2013 we approached the CC-Link Partner Association (CLPA) to see if they could offer assistance or insight into the region."
CC-Link IE and CC-Link form a comprehensive open network architecture that enables devices from many different manufacturers to communicate. It reaches from enterprise IT connectivity to simple digital I/O on the shop floor. CC-Link IE is also described as the only open gigabit Ethernet technology for automation today, linking both controller and field devices throughout a plant.
Both were originally developed in Japan and quickly became established there. Its developers released the technical specification into the public domain, via the CLPA, so that any company can manufacture compatible products and potential users have access to comprehensive information. Today these networks are, in effect, the de facto standard for open networks and the technology of choice for nearly all control engineers in China, Japan and other Asian countries. It is available in several different formats, including the gigabit industrial Ethernet version, CC-Link IE, which is excellent for Industry 4.0 and other advanced applications.
Berger says that joining the CLPA has helped develop Helukabel's business in Asia and that having a connection with CC-Link is important in the region. He discusses his views and experiences in a video presentation, viewable on the CLPA You Tube channel.