Could you be the most connected business in the world?

by The CC-Link Team on 7 April 2014

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

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