One of the world’s foremost control cable manufacturers has identified CC-Link products in its portfolio as being vital to its future development
Lapp Group, which is headquartered in Stuttgart and has operations around the globe, has in recent years developed a range of cables for CC-Link networks. Sales of these have been significant, particularly in Asia, as Ralf Moebus, the company’s Head of Product Management, explains:
“We started our CC-Link development with a fieldbus cable and now also make optical and copper cables for CC-Link IE, the gigabit industrial Ethernet option. In fact, our cables will support 10-gigabit data rates. We are seeing strong demand in Asia for these cables and they will be key to our future growth.”
CC-Link IE and CC-Link are the leading open automation network technologies throughout Asia. They were originally developed in Japan by Mitsubishi Electric, and then passed over to the CC-Link Partner Association (CLPA) as open technologies. Today, the CLPA is responsible for their development and promotion worldwide. It has offices and conformance testing centres around the world and Lapp is among about 300 manufacturers globally who offer CC-Link IE and CC-Link compatible products.
CC-Link IE and CC-Link are seen as de facto industry standards throughout the manufacturing industries of Asia and are also gaining popularity in Europe and America. There are approaching 15 million compatible devices in use around the world, a figure that is continuing to grow at double-digit rates.
Lapp Group was founded in 1957 and much of its early success was based on its invention of industrially produced flexible control cable with colour coding. Unusually for the time, this was given a brand name, Ölflex, and used to help promote the company’s core values of innovation, quality and service. Today, the Group remains family-owned and has over 4,000 products in its catalogue that are manufactured at several locations around the world. Its overall goal is to provide end-to-end solutions for cabling and connectivity.
Current developments are focusing on data cables, all of which are made to the rigorous and robust specifications that have always defined Lapp products.
“We test our CC-Link cables in a drag chain to make sure they can survive a million-plus bends and still function faultlessly,” says Moebus. “In the future, data rates will grow and grow and increasingly more data cables will be used in tough manufacturing environments. Category 6a, 10 gigabit cables, like our CC-Link IE products will be fulfilling that need.”