CLPA’s Managing Board Gets European Member

Dec. 19, 2013
German sensor manufacturer Balluff has become the first European company to join the managing board of the CC-Link Partner Association (CLPA), which is working to broaden its geographical base outside of Asia.

CC-Link, a high-speed, high-performance open automation network technology, has been dominant in Asia, but it is still finding its way in the Americas and in Europe. Making a significant move into capturing a broader European membership, the CC-Link Partner Association (CLPA) has welcomed German automation supplier Balluff GmbH to its managing board.

Balluff, based in Neuhausen, Germany, joined the CLPA in 2008, pursuing a long-term strategy of adding value to its sensor products through connectivity and systems integration. The company’s membership was aimed in particular at growing its development in China and other Asian markets. Balluff was also an early supporter of the CLPA’s Gateway to China (G2C) program, which helps European companies increase their business in China and the rest of Asia by using CC-Link as an enabling technology.

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.

“Being invited onto the CLPA managing board is an opportunity that doesn’t present itself every day,” said Jürgen Gutekunst, vice president of the Business Unit Networking and Business Unit Systems at Balluff. “In this position we can actively help to shape the future of both the CLPA and the development of automation.”

John Browett, general manager of the CLPA in Europe, welcomed Balluff to the board. “For a leading global business like Balluff to take this step is further evidence of how CC-Link is strengthening its position in Europe and around the world.”

Balluff is already integrating the open gigabit Ethernet-based network, CC-Link IE Field, in its distribution boxes, Gutekunst noted. "As a member of the managing board, we intend to work together with the CLPA on the market acceptance of this new generation of decentralized automation," he added.

Being a global player, however, means understanding the differences in the major regions of the world, Gutekunst said. For instance, decentralized automation is well advanced in Europe and North America, and remains an important topic in Asia. A low-wage region will not be so focused on production efficiency until it begins exporting its products, he added.

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