Is your company truly global?

by The CC-Link Team on 16 April 2014

As a representative of an organization that helps other businesses reach new markets in Asia, I often hear companies describe themselves as global or worldwide. But I rarely see companies that genuinely seem to understand the differences between those terms.

By John Browett

Businesses often consider themselves to be regional, national, international or global. Naturally, regional and national companies are the ones that restrict themselves to doing business in a single geographical territory; sometimes part of a country, other times an entire nation.

International businesses trade with more than one country, but not necessarily from more than one country. There are some great international automation businesses with a single head office in one territory that services dozens of regions around the world.

And then there are the genuinely global organizations – like us – that have offices in most of the major territories and can truly claim to be operating on a worldwide scale.

Balluff joins CLPA boardBalluff joins the board

One such company is Balluff GmbH, one of the world’s leading sensor solutions and systems suppliers and the most recent addition to board of the CLPA. As a partner, Balluff has always been very enthusiastic and forward-thinking and their addition to our board last year was a further sign of how embedded in their business CC-Link is.

Balluff has offices in more than sixty countries around the world and one of their key requirements for global growth is Asia. Thanks to our recently launched G2A (Gateway to Asia) programme, which has succeeded our long standing G2C (Gateway to China) initiative, we are ideally placed to help the company achieve its objective.

Furthermore, CC-Link has a genuine claim to the title of most popular industrial networking technology in Asia and Balluff, a partner since 2008, is a key collaborator in helping us reinforce that position. Like many of our members, the company regards us as a key enabling technology.

Now that it is on the board, Balluff will have the chance to help us decide strategic direction alongside our seven other members. And it is in good company: 3M, Cognex, Idec, Mitsubishi Electric, NEC, Pro-Face and the Shanghai Electric Ryoden Energy Saving and Control Technology Co. Ltd. (SERT), a subsidiary of the Shanghai Electric Group, make up the rest of the board.

Crucially, Balluff is the first company with European headquarters to become a member of our leadership organisation, which lends further credence to the idea that CC-Link genuinely is a Gateway to Asia for companies in Europe.

Future growth

In the future, we expect to see more companies from Europe joining the board. Although it is a selective club, it’s not completely closed. While board membership is a by-invitation-only opportunity, that doesn’t mean we won’t invite other companies in years to come, providing they are active and enthusiastic partners.

There are, of course, several other levels of partnership including executive member, regular member and the basic free membership, registered member.

The strategic vision for the CLPA going forwards is to increase our position in Asia while also becoming stronger in Europe as a result. We’ve done a good job already, but there is still untapped potential for us to help international and national businesses in Europe and the Americas become truly global.

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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