by The CC-Link Team on 19 July 2012

Many nations in the East are growing rapidly; developing powerful manufacturing industries with global export footprints. In contrast, Western nations often describe themselves as ‘post industrial’ and are currently struggling in world markets.

In developing nations both the government and the people seem to support manufacturing. It creates better paid jobs than the subsistence farming that previously dominated and it produces exportable goods. Through subsidies and tax breaks, governments support the building of factories, attendance at overseas trade fairs, technological education, etc.

But people in developed countries seem to prefer careers in finance, commerce, services and the arts, while their governments in recent years have seemed content to let manufacturing and other technological industries decline.

Now though, the West is renewing its interest in manufacturing and its governments have the task of finding ways to re-grow their industries. This requires both short and long term strategies. So let’s look at some options

Possibilities include
• new focus on manufacturing skills
• support for training
• positive careers advice in schools/college
• creation of an “industrial bank”
• public contracts to be placed with national companies
• support for current manufacturing

Of these the first three are medium to long term strategies, while the last three could have almost immediate beneficial effects.
It is a universal truth that manufacturing needs to constantly develop to remain competitive in global markets. In the West this often involves automation – automating manual processes, or perhaps more commonly improving existing automated systems.
Automation needs to be seen as a journey, rather than a destination. Automated systems start going out of date as soon as they are installed, so there needs to be an attitude of constant improvement; usually small steps that add up over time, but also major rebuilds when necessary.

It is here that open network technology, particularly CC-Link, can help. Open networks allow equipment from different manufacturers to be used within the same automation system. This is immeasurably better than using proprietary systems and being tied in to a single device manufacturer. The Asian “tiger” economies have seen the benefits of CC-Link, and now Eastern Europe also understands what it offers. It’s time for their more advanced neighbours to get on board!

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: