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Jones will lead CC-Link`s assault on Europe

25 July, 2007

Steve Jones has been appointed as the new general manager of the CC-Link Partners’ Association (CLPA) in Europe, succeeding Malcolm Robbins who is retiring. Jones, who used to be divisional manager of Mitsubishi’s automation division in the UK, has spent the past four years in Germany where he led Mitsubishi’s push into central and Eastern Europe.

Steve Jones

Jones’ new role will be to boost the take-up of the CC-Link networking technology in Europe. Although CC-Link is claimed to be the dominant field bus system in Asia, it is less well-known in Europe where its main use is by manufacturers exporting to the Asian market, and for installations using Japanese hardware.

CC-Link was originally developed by Mitsubishi as a proprietary protocol, but it became an open standard in 2000. There are now said to be more than 750 CC-Link-compatible products available from "hundreds" of manufacturers. Almost four million nodes have been installed, and low-cost device-level and safety versions of CC-Link have been developed.

Jones believes that there is considerable potential for CC-Link in Europe, especially in the rapidly developing economies of Eastern Europe. "Manufacturing companies there are leaping several generations of technology as they modernise their production capabilities," he reports.

"Twenty years ago they would have followed a Soviet lead; ten years ago it seemed that Germany would naturally dominate in the region," Jones adds. "But a culture has developed based on a complete break with the past and the adoption of best-in-class technology. This puts CC-Link in a very strong position."

Jones reveals that further multi-vendor extensions to CC-Link are in the pipeline. "We are working on some very advanced developments which will lead to major technical developments in the very near future," he promises.

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