CC-Link in Pole position

11 January 2008

Three Polish universities have installed over €25,000 (approximately £19,000) worth of CC-Link open fieldbus automation as part of a drive to ensure the next generation of engineers is fully conversant with modern manufacturing technology.

Members of the CLPA (CC-Link Partners Association) donated much of the equipment to Warsaw, Gliwice and Krakow Universities. In Krakow alone there are about 150 students undertaking full-time general automation studies and another 30 extramural students of automation and robotics who will use this equipment. Typical classes are groups of 15, with each student averaging around 30 hours of hands-on fieldbus network training per semester.

Polish universities have only been teaching automation for about 15 years. Prior to the 1990s few PLCs were used in the country’s industrial base, so educationalists concentrated on more traditional disciplines. However since then change has been rapid and there is now a thirst to ensure that Poland and its engineers are well versed in all modern technologies.

Steve Jones, UK general manager of CLPA Europe, explained: ‘Some of the first PLCs into Poland were Mitsubishi. I don’t know if this was by chance or design, but it meant the country learned on Japanese equipment, which became a de facto favourite. Over the years more and more equipment was installed as the manufacturing base automated, much of this resulting from foreign direct investment from Japan and Asia.’

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