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News and Views from the CC-Link Open Network http://www.cc-link-news.eu The Official CC-Link European News Website Fri, 29 Aug 2014 15:15:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.6.21 Why implementation is no barrier http://www.cc-link-news.eu/2014/08/why-implementation-is-no-barrier/ http://www.cc-link-news.eu/2014/08/why-implementation-is-no-barrier/#respond Fri, 29 Aug 2014 14:04:32 +0000 http://www.cc-link-news.eu/?p=850

“You’re only supposed to blow the….. doors off!” is one of the most memorable quotes from the legendary actor, Michael Caine. The line comes from The Italian Job (1969) and was spoken in a scene that, without intending to do so, nicely illustrates the idea of over-doing it. Using this imagery as a metaphor, here’s how the CC-Link Partnership (CLPA) is helping to offer network development solutions.

By John Browett

Why implementation is no barrier

CC-Link is one of the world’s leading open automation network technologies with an installed base exceeding twelve million devices. It is also widely supported by third party network connectivity specialists. Hence if a company already has the hardware to support other networks in their products, then it’s likely that they are half way to implementing CC-Link. It’s a classic case of a job being overestimated when it could be as simple as a firmware change.

Not a lot of people know that
This issue has spurred the CLPA to conduct a new development solutions promotional campaign to illustrate that implementing CC-Link in your products could be easier than you think.

Heavy-weights in the industrial communications industry and CLPA partners, Hilscher,  HMS and Renesas – are  three examples of companies that are able to offer network platform solutions to companies that want to implement our open network technologies without the need for a costly re-design.

Traditionally, adding a new network to your product  meant a  re-design. The financial implications of this, along with the necessary testing and debugging, could be considerable. However, thanks to solutions like netX, Anybus and the R-IN32, this is no longer a concern. These networking platforms from Hilscher, HMS and Renesas provide a flexible way to support multiple different network standards without costly re-designs. CC-Link is one of the networks that these platforms support.

Spreading the word
Advertising and web banners that highlight this message have already started appearing in print and online in the leading German trade publications, messtec drives Automation and the Industrial Ethernet Journal – sister publication to   SPS Magazin. Together, these magazines reach the majority of the German automation community, ensuring that our message is being communicated to all leading device makers.

They inform potential companies about the ease with which the leading industrial networking technology in Asia can be implemented anywhere in the world. They will run until the autumn and provide a lead-in to the world famous automation fair, SPS/IPC/Drives in Nuremburg, where CLPA will have a stand (Hall 2, Stand 2-540)

Powerful implementation
A strong reason to implement CC-Link is its world class performance; it’s the only networking technology able to provide open 1Gb Ethernet and thus ideal for companies who have large amounts of data to handle in real time. Furthermore, companies investing in CC-Link have the added advantage of access to a wealth of knowledge from the 2,100 CLPA members across the globe. Moreover, since it has a leading position in the Asian market, companies looking to increase their business there are seeing it as a key enabling technology to do this. The CLPA is also supporting these companies through its “Gateway to Asia” (G2A) programme.

CC-Link offers future business growth and access to industry innovation as well as swift and hassle-free implementation. So there really is no need to blow up the whole van.

CC-Link enables devices from numerous manufacturers to communicate, resulting in a fast, deterministic control system. It is managed by the CLPA, which represents manufacturers and users, academics and other interested parties.

John Browett is the European general manager of the CLPA. If you want to discuss Gateway to Asia, you can contact him on +49 (0) 2102 486 1750 or by e-mail using John.browett@clpa-europe.com.

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Control Engineering Europe supplements CC-Link http://www.cc-link-news.eu/2014/07/control-engineering-europe-supplements-cc-link/ http://www.cc-link-news.eu/2014/07/control-engineering-europe-supplements-cc-link/#respond Thu, 17 Jul 2014 13:23:00 +0000 http://www.cc-link-news.eu/?p=822

Control Engineering Europe supplement

Have you seen the latest Control Engineering Europe supplement? If not, you’re missing out on the magazine’s views on CC-Link technology, an introduction to the CC-Link Partner Association (CLPA) and the chance to open a gateway to success in Asia. But don’t panic – if you’ve missed out you can still find all the content online in page turning format by clicking here.

By John Browett

June’s CC-Link Partner Association (CLPA) Control Engineering Europe supplement brims with invaluable information for companies reaching into the Asian manufacturing market.

The supplement’s authoritative content outlines the CLPA’s major aims: to promote the business benefits of CC-Link technology and to describe the Gateway to Asia (G2A) programme, designed to support European businesses selling automation solutions to Asia.

Asia is the world’s largest automation market with about 50% of all global automation spending taking place there. Although this is undoubtedly enticing, it can also be intimidating to some European companies. In the supplement, Lutz Berners, president of Berners Consulting, shares his cultural and professional insights from his extensive time spent in China and sheds light on the ways in which CLPA can actively aid companies in the Asian market.

In addition, the supplement sees the magazine’s editor, Suzanne Gill, speak to members of the CLPA’s G2A partnership programme. Together they examine the benefits and explain how other companies can profit from joining the likes of Balluff, Hilscher, Mettler-Toledo, Renesas, HMS, Bihl+Wiedemann, Weidmüller, Festo and Pepperl+Fuchs in becoming a G2A partner.

In the concluding pages of the supplement, Gill reports on the increasing demand for CC-Link enabled systems and the reasons behind the rise in take up. For instance, flat panel LCD televisions and monitors are one of the strongest growing consumer products in recent years and production at one of Asia’s largest LCD plants is now highly automated with CC-Link IE. Using this as a case study, Gill explores the network’s flexibility, reliability and world-leading performance as more Asian end-users in the manufacturing sector turn to automated production process. She also explores how Ford & Mazda’s joint venture plant in China depends on CC-Link to deliver the necessary levels of flexibility and reliability.

With a print circulation of 17,946 as well as a digital subscribership of 2,479, Control Engineering Europe has a total circulation of 20,425, comprising a varied readership made up of all areas of the manufacturing industry across Europe. Recognised as the region’s pan-European authority, the publication’s near 30 year success is founded on the highest editorial values.

To keep up to date with all of Europe’s control, instrumentation and automation engineering developments, you can subscribe for free to Control Engineering Europe here.

CC-Link enables devices from numerous manufacturers to communicate, resulting in a fast, deterministic control system. It is managed by the CLPA, which represents manufacturers and users, academics and other interested parties.

John Browett is the European general manager of the CLPA. If you want to discuss Gateway to Asia, you can contact him on +49 (0) 2102 486 1750 or by e-mail using John.browett@clpa-europe.com.

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Strength in numbers http://www.cc-link-news.eu/2014/06/strength-in-numbers/ http://www.cc-link-news.eu/2014/06/strength-in-numbers/#respond Mon, 09 Jun 2014 06:23:15 +0000 http://www.cc-link-news.eu/?p=823

Gateway to Asia

Gateway to Asia

Steven Spielberg once said, “film making is all about appreciating the talents you surround yourself with and knowing you could never have made any of these films by yourself.”  Here at the CC-Link Partner Association (CLPA) we understand that just as with film making, partnerships play a central role in business. This is why we are particularly proud to announce we now have over 2100 members worldwide.

By John Browett

Our partners come from different sectors, but they all have two things in common: talent and ambition. Companies like Balluff, Festo, Weidmüller, 3M, ABB and Mitsubishi Electric are driving industry forward through their innovation and perseverance. But becoming a member of the CLPA can make any company a part of one of the world’s largest international open automation network associations. And that is only the beginning.

CC-Link is one of the world’s leading open automation network technologies, with an installed base exceeding twelve million devices. Just to give you a feel regarding our size and spread, we have over 1,300 certified products from more than 280 manufacturers. CC-Link is the leading fieldbus technology in Japan and Asia and is becoming increasingly popular in Europe and the Americas.

There are two main reasons why our membership is increasing at a rapid rate. In Europe, the past several years have presented many European companies with challenging business conditions. The recent Euro crisis was the wake-up call to many businesses that long-term success relied upon developing markets beyond the “local” European area. CC-Link, with its acknowledged strength in the Asia-Pacific market, provides a key enabling technology for companies looking to increase their business in this critical global market. The CLPA actively supports and encourages this kind of expansion with our “Gateway to Asia” (G2A for short) programme. This offers European companies with support assistance when they develop a CC-Link product and wish to market it in Asia.

Secondly, CC-Link offers world-leading technology which offers significant performance advantages over similar networks. The CLPA is the first and currently only organization of its type to offer its members the ability to implement open gigabit industrial Ethernet performance in their products. This is in the form of CC-Link IE, the world’s first and so far only open industrial Ethernet technology that operates at 1Gbps.

With a growing partner base, CC-Link has become more and more popular around the world and across industries. For example, the US AutoAlliance car plant in Flat Rock, Michigan,  implemented CC-Link in the Ford Mustang and Mazda 6 production lines. The technology is utilised across all manufacturing stages including assembly and paint operations.

Although CC-Link originated in Japan as a technology originally aimed at the Asian market, the international adoption rate has been very successful, with the majority of the current membership being outside Japan. Many of the CLPA members are located across North America and Europe, establishing the brand as a global solution.

Passing the 2000 member mark is proof that CC-Link is firmly established in the “club” of technologies which are seen as the main choices for open networks in automation. This also means that it has proven itself across a wide variety of industries such as automotive, food and beverage, life science, consumer electronics and energy. Furthermore, the vast selection of products available means that OEMs can be confident of application flexibility when integrating CC-Link into their designs.

If the CC-Link story was a film – and perhaps one day soon it will be – we are confident it would win a record number of Oscars, because just like Spielberg, we have surrounded ourselves with the top industry leaders and most innovative players around the world.

CC-Link enables devices from numerous manufacturers to communicate, resulting in a fast, deterministic control system. It is managed by the CLPA, which represents manufacturers and users, academics and other interested parties.

John Browett is the European general manager of the CLPA. If you want to discuss Gateway to Asia, you can contact him on +49 (0) 2102 486 1750 or by e-mail using John.browett@clpa-europe.com.

 

 

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Is your company truly global? http://www.cc-link-news.eu/2014/04/is-your-company-truly-global/ http://www.cc-link-news.eu/2014/04/is-your-company-truly-global/#respond Wed, 16 Apr 2014 15:24:22 +0000 http://www.cc-link-news.eu/?p=809

As a representative of an organization that helps other businesses reach new markets in Asia, I often hear companies describe themselves as global or worldwide. But I rarely see companies that genuinely seem to understand the differences between those terms.

By John Browett

Businesses often consider themselves to be regional, national, international or global. Naturally, regional and national companies are the ones that restrict themselves to doing business in a single geographical territory; sometimes part of a country, other times an entire nation.

International businesses trade with more than one country, but not necessarily from more than one country. There are some great international automation businesses with a single head office in one territory that services dozens of regions around the world.

And then there are the genuinely global organizations – like us – that have offices in most of the major territories and can truly claim to be operating on a worldwide scale.

Balluff joins CLPA boardBalluff joins the board

One such company is Balluff GmbH, one of the world’s leading sensor solutions and systems suppliers and the most recent addition to board of the CLPA. As a partner, Balluff has always been very enthusiastic and forward-thinking and their addition to our board last year was a further sign of how embedded in their business CC-Link is.

Balluff has offices in more than sixty countries around the world and one of their key requirements for global growth is Asia. Thanks to our recently launched G2A (Gateway to Asia) programme, which has succeeded our long standing G2C (Gateway to China) initiative, we are ideally placed to help the company achieve its objective.

Furthermore, CC-Link has a genuine claim to the title of most popular industrial networking technology in Asia and Balluff, a partner since 2008, is a key collaborator in helping us reinforce that position. Like many of our members, the company regards us as a key enabling technology.

Now that it is on the board, Balluff will have the chance to help us decide strategic direction alongside our seven other members. And it is in good company: 3M, Cognex, Idec, Mitsubishi Electric, NEC, Pro-Face and the Shanghai Electric Ryoden Energy Saving and Control Technology Co. Ltd. (SERT), a subsidiary of the Shanghai Electric Group, make up the rest of the board.

Crucially, Balluff is the first company with European headquarters to become a member of our leadership organisation, which lends further credence to the idea that CC-Link genuinely is a Gateway to Asia for companies in Europe.

Future growth

In the future, we expect to see more companies from Europe joining the board. Although it is a selective club, it’s not completely closed. While board membership is a by-invitation-only opportunity, that doesn’t mean we won’t invite other companies in years to come, providing they are active and enthusiastic partners.

There are, of course, several other levels of partnership including executive member, regular member and the basic free membership, registered member.

The strategic vision for the CLPA going forwards is to increase our position in Asia while also becoming stronger in Europe as a result. We’ve done a good job already, but there is still untapped potential for us to help international and national businesses in Europe and the Americas become truly global.

CC-Link enables devices from numerous manufacturers to communicate, resulting in a fast, deterministic control system. It is managed by the CLPA, which represents manufacturers and users, academics and other interested parties.

John Browett is the European general manager of the CLPA. If you want to discuss Gateway to Asia, you can contact him on +49 (0) 2102 486 1750 or by e-mail using John.browett@clpa-europe.com.

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Could you be the most connected business in the world? http://www.cc-link-news.eu/2014/04/could-you-be-the-most-connected-business-in-the-world/ http://www.cc-link-news.eu/2014/04/could-you-be-the-most-connected-business-in-the-world/#respond Mon, 07 Apr 2014 07:04:46 +0000 http://www.cc-link-news.eu/?p=798

Gateway to Asia

CC-Link technology is the only networking technology able to provide open 1Gb Ethernet

 

You may have recently read about the most connected human on the planet. Chris Dancy from Denver, USA, is wired up to 700 sensors to capture every single detail of his existence – he uses a range of devices, services and applications to give him real-time data about his body.

By John Browett
His connected lifestyle means he knows more about himself than, arguably, anyone else on the planet and his monitoring has even allowed him to lose 45kg (100lbs).

Dancy tracks what he eats and drinks, when he sleeps, how he emails, where he takes photos and even the activity of his dogs. Using technology ranging from Google Glass and narrative camera to a BodyMedia FIT, a Fitbit, Blue HR heart rate monitor, Lumo Back and a Pebble smartwatch, he has taken the concept of a networked environment to new heights. I would love to take the time to explain each of those technologies, but suffice to say that they all transfer real time data about Dancy’s body to repositories that he can use for analysis.

I’m interested in Dancy because he’s representative of the move towards an enlarged focus on analytics in the consumer environment, which is very much reflected in an increased reliance on data in the manufacturing world.

At CC-Link, we are very much at the epicentre of this storm – as the only networking technology able to provide open 1Gb Ethernet, we tend to be the first point of call for companies that have genuinely large amounts of data to handle in real time.

Gateway to Asia

The recent launch of our Gateway to Asia (G2A) scheme has reinforced this for me – we have seen a strong demand for increased data acquisition and handling.  We’ve been established for some time as a key enabling technology for helping businesses reach China, but the launch of G2A means that we are now able to fully extend our reach into other key Asian markets where CC-Link is also strong.

For instance, parts of India, compared to some of Europe, could be described as still discovering the productivity and quality benefits that automation can bring. Hence this trend to automate is providing opportunities for the automation industry and its customers, as well as the chance for the Indian work force to increase its skills and standard of living.

Thinking long term

Big companies normally write long-term business plans. If these plans don’t anticipate the technological changes affecting manufacturing, they are unlikely to be successful. We are also seeing a degradation of the idea that handmade means high quality. Automated manufacturing means less waste, fewer returns and lower product cost, as well greater quality levels.

The launch of Gateway to Asia is based on the notion that automation and networking technology is growing across the globe – not just in countries where industries are more established. Recent reports about how Asia is now accounting for about half of all automation spending are validating the premise of the programme. European companies who are looking for the next market opportunity are well advised to talk to us about how we can help them.

As a result, when I read about Chris Dancy, our ultra-connected man, he reminded me of manufacturing sites in Asia, where nascent concepts such as Industry 4.0, big data, Internet of Things (IoT) and Machine to machine (M2M) are already creating the factory equivalent of Dancy’s 700 sensors. And, just like the insight he gained allowed him to improve his fitness and lose 45 kilos, businesses are using the understanding provided by increased levels of automation and consequent data transparency to optimise their processes and improve their own bottom lines.

I’m always keen to meet companies that are connected in this way, so if you think you are the industrial automation equivalent of Mr Dancy, get in touch. I would love to hear your story.

CC-Link enables devices from numerous manufacturers to communicate, resulting in a fast, deterministic control system. It is managed by the CLPA, which represents manufacturers and users, academics and other interested parties.

John Browett is the European general manager of the CLPA. If you want to discuss Gateway to Asia, you can contact him on +49 (0) 2102 486 1750 or by e-mail using John.browett@clpa-europe.com.

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Can you reach untapped Asian markets? http://www.cc-link-news.eu/2014/04/can-you-reach-untapped-asian-markets/ http://www.cc-link-news.eu/2014/04/can-you-reach-untapped-asian-markets/#respond Tue, 01 Apr 2014 08:52:18 +0000 http://www.cc-link-news.eu/?p=780

Gateway to Asia

Gateway to Asia conference in Hatfield

According to two major international reports last year, almost half of automation sales are now in the Asia and Pacific markets. An IHS research showed that in2012, 46 per cent of global expenditure – equivalent to 76.6bn – was spent in the region. Additionally, ARC last year published a report, which predicted that by 2016, Asia will become the largest market for PLCs. So what are the reasons behind Asia’s sudden automation rush?

By John Browett

The common perception is that manufacturing growth in Asia is all about the traditional markets of China, Taiwan and Japan. But that’s not the whole story. For example, Singapore’s manufacturing output rose by 12.8 per cent last year, according to the Economic Development Board report published this February.

The country’s biomedical manufacturing gained 19.3 per cent, boosted by pharmaceuticals, which grew by 20.2 per cent. Electronics production rose by 14.8 per cent, while the output of the transport engineering cluster increased by 11.1 per cent on-year.

This shows that Asian manufacturing is a vibrant and growing industry across the continent, which I expect will continue to boom as more and more people in Asian countries develop a higher standard of living and create higher demand for consumer goods.

So the real question is not whether your company should seek to tap into this key economic region, but how you should go about doing it. I regularly meet businesses who want to create more traction in Asia, but – while they may already be heavy exporters – find the cultural differences between the East and West to be too big a barrier.

CC-Link networking technologyIt’s for exactly this reason that at the SPS/IPC/Drives fair we launched the CLPA’s Gateway to Asia (G2A) programme. Building on our successful Gateway to China (G2C) initiative, which ran for two years and attracted the involvement of 22 leading European companies by the end, our new scheme will help European companies reach into Asian markets much more effectively than ever before.

We now have 26 partners involved with the G2A programme, the continuing increase being a sign that demand for this type of programme is growing. Gateway to Asia hugely expands our geographical remit to more accurately reflect the expertise and reach of the CLPA network.

While we were focussing on China, we were often asked by companies if we could help them reach Taiwan, Japan or India for instance. Hence we felt that 2014 would be the right time to create a broader initiative that will help boost our partners’ geographical reach and, as a result, revenues.

The CLPA has a network of offices that literally spans the whole of Asia, from Turkey to Japan. In key markets such as China, combining the CLPA and its partners offers coverage of over 20 locations. As a result, we are able to provide genuine, local cultural insight that helps our partners understand the correct way of doing business in each region. Sometimes there is no substitute for genuine native knowledge.

We also have partners whose role is to help other companies succeed in specific regions. For instance, Berners Consulting provides sophisticated help for businesses that want to reach into China. Since the end of last year, we have run two seminars, one in Hatfield, UK and another in Stuttgart, Germany, at which Lutz Berners, the consulting company’s president has delivered presentations that uncovered valuable insights into how to succeed in this critical export market.

Gateway to Asia

Gateway to Asia

Throughout Asia, CC-Link is acknowledged by leading market research companies such as IHS to be a de-facto standard. Hence, you will find that local manufacturers need no persuading about the merits of CC-Link, because it is already a leading networking technology in those regions.

 

This is partly the result of Mitsubishi’s geographical dominance in Asia, but also the consequence of our technical innovation. For instance, as the only technology that provides open gigabit industrial Ethernet, we are leaders in countries such as Japan and China, where this kind of technical prowess is respected.

Ultimately, what G2A is going to achieve is an improved geographical reach for our partners’ target markets across Asia. If you want to find out more about our offering, get in touch and I will be happy to help.

CC-Link enables devices from numerous manufacturers to communicate, resulting in a fast, deterministic control system. It is managed by the CLPA, which represents manufacturers and users, academics and other interested parties.

John Browett is the European general manager of the CLPA. If you want to discuss Gateway to Asia, you can contact him on + 44 7768 338 708 or by e-mail using John.browett@clpa-europe.com.

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Automation for the people http://www.cc-link-news.eu/2014/03/automation-for-the-people/ http://www.cc-link-news.eu/2014/03/automation-for-the-people/#respond Mon, 10 Mar 2014 11:14:22 +0000 http://www.cc-link-news.eu/?p=769

By John Browett

SPS IPC Drives is a staple of the European trade show calendar. It’s the only show in Europe where you can see nearly every leading automation brand in one place and be served wine by an industrial robot arm.

SPS IPC Drives

No wine with this robot, unfortunately

Despite the amount of robots on show, most people aren’t ‘fluent in over six million forms of communication’, like C3-PO in George Lucas’ Star Wars. As a result, it’s not always easy to draw out the most important themes of an international event in retrospect – especially if you didn’t attend.

But never fear; we’ve done the hard work for you, bringing automation to the people. Once you’ve read this blog post, you will be just as clued up on the future of automation as the 60,027 people who visited the 1622 stands at SPS IPC Drives 2013.

This time around SPS Drives was about the nuances and subtleties of the market – unlike, for instance, last year’s Hannover Messe; where nearly everything that was said was on the subject of Industry 4.0.

However, the entire event didn’t pass by without a mention of 2013’s biggest industry trend. For instance, Roland Bent, the managing director of Phoenix Contact, one of a growing list of companies with CC-Link compatible products, dedicated his opening presentation to the subject.

“In future we will need production plants that demonstrate a high degree of flexibility,” explained Bent. “We have to move on from just flexible production, which can only make allowances for ideas masterminded today, to an adaptable plant, which can react to unforeseen events. That means that networking technology will develop even further in the automation industry.”

Omron was another company with CC-Link compatible products that demonstrated some brilliant technology at the event. The company was showing its facial recognition equipment, which will ultimately lead to HMIs (Human Machine Interfaces) able to respond to human feelings and behaviour. At present it’s very much about safety and recognising how close an individual can be to a machine before the device has to slow down or turn off.

Despite some of the fascinating theory on show, it’s very much my view that SPS Drives is the fair at which business gets done and contracts get signed. This was supported by a conversation I had with a representative of the VDMA in Hannover last year, who pointed out that SPS is becoming more and more influential.

For those of you not in the know, the VDMA is the German Machine Building and Plant Engineering Association, so the organisation unquestionably has its finger on the pulse of the machine building sector.

I think the idea that the show is becoming an even more significant part of the international engineering landscape is supported by some of the recent and forthcoming innovations SPS is putting it place. For instance, a new hall devoted to vision technology will rival Stuttgart’s Vision exhibition, while an entirely new show will be launched in India in 2015 to create a genuine global reach for the brand.

The CLPA’s stand at SPS had just over 600 visitors across three days, which I believe reinforces the argument that there is a great deal of interest in CC-Link across Europe. This hypothesis is certainly supported by Roland Bent’s belief that the future of industry will stand on a foundation of networking technologies.

Among our 600 visitors were many editors from the leading European trade magazines. Given the demands on their time from over 1,600 exhibitors, I think that the significant media interest in our technology reinforces its importance in Europe.

But the big news from SPS Drives was the launch of our Gateway to Asia (G2A) scheme, which will succeed our successful Gateway to China (G2C) programme. Gateway to Asia represents a significant step forward for the CLPA, as does the addition of a number of new partners supporting the programme. We now have 26 partners on the G2A programme, over a dozen more than when we started out with G2C.

The main difference between the two schemes is their respective geographical coverage, with G2A allowing our partners to reach into territories such as Korea, Taiwan, Japan and India, as well as the rest of Asia. I’ll be blogging more about G2A later this month and I will also introduce you to some of our new partners as well as an exciting new board member.

But before I do, let me raise a glass to SPS IPC Drives 2013; from wine served by robot arms to Industry 4.0 and facial recognition, the event was impossible to miss. Next year will be SPS’s 25th anniversary and I expect it to be even bigger and better than ever before. I’m sure I will see you there.

John Browett is the European general manager of the CLPA. If you want to discuss Gateway to Asia, you can contact him on john.browett@clpa-europe.com

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Asia claims almost half of automation sales http://www.cc-link-news.eu/2013/09/asia-claims-almost-half-of-automation-sales/ http://www.cc-link-news.eu/2013/09/asia-claims-almost-half-of-automation-sales/#respond Wed, 18 Sep 2013 09:11:39 +0000 http://www.cc-link-news.eu/?p=750

~ European vendors must adapt or they will lose out, argues the CLPA ~

A recent report by IHS Inc showed that in 2012, capital expenditure on industrial automation equipment in Asia reached the striking total of $76.6B, representing 46% of global investments in the sector. Despite this established and rising trend, selling industrial automation equipment in Asia remains a clear business opportunity and one where many European providers are lagging behind.

By John Browett, General Manager of the CC-Link Partner Association Europe

Despite the first half of 2012 seeing an Asian market slowdown, with only a 3.7% growth in overall revenue from industrial automation equipment, the second half of the year showed definite improvement. The positive trend has continued in 2013, with the industrial automation sector set to grow by 6.2%. In such a dynamic market, getting new business can be both a business and technical challenge.

Ford/Mazda’s CC-Link equipped factory in Chongqing, China.

Ford/Mazda’s CC-Link equipped factory in Chongqing, China.

One of the key areas of opportunity is the power industry, where the booming consumer and industrial power markets in developing economies such as China and India have created rocketing demand. In China the per capita energy use is still a long way behind most of Western Europe, meaning the potential for growth is still huge. Without question, Asia represents a perfect storm of opportunities for European automation suppliers.

In order to help businesses better understand how to take advantage of the current climate and increase their industrial automation sales in Asia, particularly China, the CC-Link Partner Association (CLPA) is hosting a seminar entitled ‘Gateway to China’. The event will take place on September 24, 2013 at the Mitsubishi Electric Europe Tokyo Conference Suite in Hatfield.

For more information on the speakers and to book tickets for the event, just visit the CLPA’s EventBrite page: http://gateway-to-china.eventbrite.co.uk/.

In the light of the sensitive current economic climate, many Asian companies are taking a more careful approach to investment; they are becoming more demanding towards their suppliers and making more enquiries before purchasing. Furthermore, according to IHS’ research, several Chinese manufacturers are currently developing products which are in direct competition with the ones provided by Western suppliers of industrial automation. These are only a few of the obstacles facing European vendors who want to penetrate the Asian market to change the way they do business.

Flexibility and the ability to respond to very specific demands are becoming essential factors when dealing with the Asian market. Being able to offer technologies and products which are compatible with the needs of Asian clients is no longer an option, it’s a must.

This is great news for CC-Link – a leading open industrial network in Japan and the rest of Asia. With a market share of close to 20% in the region, CC-Link is an essential technology for any supplier who would like to tap into the APAC region.

Furthermore, any company wanting to approach the Asian market must develop a thorough cultural understanding of its countries, people and company cultures. A good way to gain access to this knowledge is joining the CC-Link Partner Association (CLPA). This will enable you to access a well-established network of manufacturers of CC-Link compatible products and users of CC-Link technology.

The CLPA can provide valuable expertise for European companies in accessing the Asian industrial automation market by offering technical assistance and conducting conformance testing.

John Browett will be speaking at Gateway to China, the CLPA’s (CC-Link Partner Association) international trade seminar being held in Hatfield, UK on September 24. If you want to find out more about how CC-Link technology can help you win business in Asia you can book a ticket here – they are free to readers of this blog.

 

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The gateway to the Asian automation market http://www.cc-link-news.eu/2013/08/the-gateway-to-the-asian-automation-market/ http://www.cc-link-news.eu/2013/08/the-gateway-to-the-asian-automation-market/#respond Thu, 29 Aug 2013 09:50:53 +0000 http://www.cc-link-news.eu/?p=733

~ Hatfield event set to outline access to China
and the rest of Asia ~

The CC-Link Partner Association (CLPA) is hosting ‘Gateway to China’,an event to help UK companies discover and access automation business opportunities in Asia, on September 24, 2013 at the Mitsubishi Electric Europe Tokyo Conference Suite in Hatfield.

Free tickets to the event can be booked by visiting the CLPA’s EventBrite page: http://gateway-to-china.eventbrite.co.uk/.

How to access automation markets in Asia

John Browett, general manager of the CLPA

Speakers at the Gateway to China event will include John Browett, General Manager, CLPA, Chris Evans, Manager of the Marketing and Operations Group at Mitsubishi Electric Europe and Dr Graeme Philp, CEO of GAMBICA.

Also speaking on the day are Andreas Schwope, Senior Engineer, Industrial & Communications Business Group at Renesas Electronics Europe, Eberhard Klotz, Head of Marketing Products and Technology at Festo and Jürgen Gutekunst, Vice President, Business Unit Networking and Business Unit Systems, Balluff GmbH.

The final speaker will be Lutz Berners, president of Berners Consulting, a company that specialises in launching businesses into the Asian markets.
With a global installed base of almost nine million nodes, more than 1,200 products from over 270 manufacturers and over 1,900 partner companies, CC-Link offers a comprehensive open network architecture that reaches from enterprise IT connectivity to simple digital I/O on the shop floor.

CC-Link IE is also the only open gigabit Ethernet technology available in the automation sector, linking both controller and field devices throughout a plant.

CC-Link is the leading open automation networking technology in Japan and the rest of Asia, holding approximately twenty per cent of the region’s market share. Integrating CC-Link technology into a product can open new doors into these markets. The technology is also becoming widely accepted in both Europe and North America due to its ease of use, strong productivity features and high performance.

“The programme was started in 2011, with the aim of making it easier for European companies to increase their business in China by using CC-Link as an enabling technology. Independent market research continues to show CC-Link is the network of choice in Asia.“The Gateway to China programme is gaining momentum, with the number of partners increasing from 14 to 22 over the last year,” says John Browett, General Manager of the CLPA Europe.

“Industrial networking has embraced Ethernet as the preferred technology and the CLPA saw this trend as early as 2007, responding with CC-Link IE (Industrial Ethernet).

“Over the last year the CLPA has teamed up with key European partners such as Balluff, Datalogic,  HBM, Festo and Bihl+Wiedemann to show the solutions they can offer to leading industries such as automotive, water, food and beverage and consumer packaged goods.”

CC‑Link began as an open network technology originated by Mitsubishi Electric over 12 years ago in Japan. Building on the strength of that position, it quickly established itself as the leading fieldbus in the Asian market, as neighbouring countries such as South Korea, China and Taiwan also enthusiastically adopted it. Indeed, many of these countries wrote national standards around it, giving it the enviable position of being recommended by multiple governments.

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What ESCO means for industrial networking http://www.cc-link-news.eu/2013/08/what-esco-means-for-industrial-networking/ http://www.cc-link-news.eu/2013/08/what-esco-means-for-industrial-networking/#respond Wed, 28 Aug 2013 11:01:28 +0000 http://www.cc-link-news.eu/?p=727

The ESCO report (Electronics Systems Challenges and Opportunities) released on June 27 envisages 55% growth in the electronic systems sector by 2020. Whether that is achievable or not, and how it will impact on industrial networking, only time will tell. However, the underlying issue here is how we can bring success to the electronics manufacturing sector in the UK and perhaps Europe in general.

By John Browett, general manager of the CC-Link Partner Association Europe

Smart technologies penetrate every area of our daily lives, from smart phones to smart cities. As a consequence, the  electronics systems sector could see significant growth over the next few years in the UK, with possibly similar growth being seen across Europe.

In fact, I think there’s a real argument that we are undergoing a phase of technical development on a par with the industrial revolution. However, relying on demand for additional electronic devices  will simply not be sufficient to meet our targets. We need to radically increase  exports and I believe the same applies to many other European countries.

As a result, I believe that the industry’s  focus should be on increasing its trade with the expanding Asian electronics markets. With emerging economies developing a taste for Western products and services, and building the capital to purchase them, companies  should think about investing in technologies  that  have been used in the target countries for many years.

If you want to set up shop in Asia and become a success story, then it’s essential that you investigate the most common networking methods used in the region. CC-Link has the leading share with about 20% of the market.
We’ve all seen businesses crash and burn, in a whole host of sectors because they refuse to acknowledge local preference and market behaviour.

The progress predicted by the ESCO report could be achieved if Government efforts are coordinated with those of organisations such a UKTI (UK Trade and Investment) and CBBC (China – Britain Business Council), as well as ourselves. The CBBC actively works towards increasing opportunities for companies that want to do business in China and supporting those who make the investment.

The CLPA has always actively promoted its partner businesses in  Asia, and on September 24 we are organising an event in Hatfield, England, focused on exactly that subject. Called Gateway to China, the event will feature speakers from the CLPA, Festo, GAMBICA, Intellect, Mitsubishi and Renesas. The tickets are free and can be obtained by registering at http://gateway-to-china.eventbrite.co.uk/.

Industrial networking employmentAnother positive prediction the ESCO report makes is that the resultant trade boom will create another 150,000 skilled jobs in the UK alone. As suggested on page 24 of the report, the numbers of mechanical and civil engineers are still at a healthy level, whereas the electronics engineering sector is really struggling for skilled employees. This new Government incentive will have a positive impact on increasing the numbers of young people entering engineering and most importantly, electronics trades.

Whichever way you look at it, the ESCO report was a much needed high level review of the electronics industry in the UK. It offers an accurate diagnosis of the electronics sector’s ills as well as those of industry overall. Its prognosis is filled with potential; to increase our ability to develop new technologies and improve international trade.

The underlying message here is that in today’s economy, going global is more important than cutting production costs. This is where trade bodies such as UKTI, CBBC and the CLPA can open a gateway to Asia if we all work together.

John Browett will be speaking at Gateway to China, the CLPA’s (CC-Link Partner Association) international trade event being held in Hatfield on September 24. If you want to find out more about how CC-Link technology can help you win business in China and Asia you can book a ticket here – they are free to readers of this blog.

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