CLPA 20th Anniversary CLPA 20th Anniversary


The CC-Link Partner Association (CLPA) has announced to celebrate its 20th anniversary.

The CLPA was established in November 2000, with the aim of making the first Japanese open fieldbus, CC-Link, the world's leading open industrial network. What began as an association of 134 member companies now includes over 3,800 companies and has grown into one of the largest open industrial network organizations in the world. The CC-Link family of open networks has been chosen by customers in various industries for its functionality, reliability, and interoperability. We have been able to establish a position as a leading open industrial network technology provider supporting the core of manufacturing industries. This has been made possible thanks to the support of all of our customers and partners.

As manufacturing has undergone increasing globalization over the past 20 years, more and more companies have been asking for both openness and standardization. Industrial networks have also become crucial in accelerating the trend of developing smart factories and in creating new value through connecting people, things, technologies, and organizations—as seen in the “Connected Industries” concept announced by the Japanese government's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry in 2017.

As a pioneer and challenger leading the development of open network technologies, the CLPA will continue to work with all of our partners to lead the development of truly open industrial networks throughout the world that help customers build “smart factories” more quickly.

Masaki Kawazoe
Global Director

CC-Link Partner Association

  • 1. Manufacturing as envisioned by the CLPA
  • 2. History of the CLPA

Manufacturing as envisioned
by the CLPA

CC-Link IE TSN Open the Future of “Connected Industries”CC-Link IE TSN Open the Future of “Connected Industries”

What is today's “Smart Factory”?

As customer needs grow more diverse and advanced, there is a growing trend in manufacturing toward automation, reducing TCO (Total Cost of Ownership), and improving quality, together with embracing new manufacturing methods such as “mass customisation” variable quantity production. The information-driven society fueled by IT-based data continues to develop, with the development of sensing technology, higher-speed networks, the spread of cloud/edge computing, and the development of AI (artificial intelligence). These all require the creation of “smart factories” in which everything is connected, data is used to the fullest, and ideal manufacturing takes place autonomously. We are also seeing the appearance of global mega-trends moving toward the use of IoT in manufacturing, such as Industry 4.0 in Europe, the IIC (Industrial Internet Consortium) in the US, intelligent manufacturing in China, and Connected Industries in Japan.

In order to create smart factories, it is essential to gather production site information in real time, process it via edge computing, and then transmit it seamlessly to IT systems. Toward that end, one crucial need when making the most of production site data is a network capable of high-speed, stable control communication as well as high-volume information transmission to IT systems. In other words, it is necessary to converge industrial networks at production sites with IT system networks. Implementing high-speed/high-performance control will also be a crucial step in improving production efficiency.

The role of the CLPA

In response to these needs, the CLPA released “CC-Link IE TSN”. This technology inherits the features of CC-Link IE but also makes use of Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN) to achieve real time performance using time sharing, which allows for different networks to co-exist on the same infrastructure. It uses an efficient protocol to also achieve motion control that is both fast and highly accurate. This allows CC-Link IE TSN to enable a seamless, smooth connection from upper level IT systems to OT systems at production sites, supporting a wide variety of manufacturing applications.

The CLPA is helping to realize the concept of Connected Industries by encouraging the wider adoption of CC-Link IE TSN.

01Accurate time stamp information
and advanced analysis
  • Collection of field data with accurate time stamp information
  • Improvement of analysis accuracy by using AI
02Network integration
  • Coexistence of multiple protocols on a single trunk
  • Realize OT layer real time control and IT layer seamless communication at the same time
  • Combine general, motion and safety communication on a single network
03Realization of advanced motion control
  • Fast and high accuracy synchronization control
  • Optimize device performance by combining different communication cycles
04Utilization of wireless networks and 5G
Future concept
  • Free layout production line construction
  • Wiring-free system construction
05Compatibility of OT-IT integration
and security
Future concept
  • Build a stable security environment
  • Expansion of devices and services compatible with security

The use of private 5G will make building production systems easier and more flexible. We will propose a new kind of factory that combines private 5G technology with a converged network using CC-Link IE TSN. We also continue to implement security measures to handle risks such as cyber attacks by combining OT (production site) and IT, with the goal of building secure systems that can be used with confidence.

History of the CLPA

Background leading up to the formation of the CLPA, and growth trajectory

The CLPA was established in November 2000 with the goal of promoting the use of “CC-Link,” the first world standard open field network to come out of Japan. In 2001, we established overseas bases in six countries and regions to begin our global expansion. In the 20 years since then, we have developed into one of the leading industrial open network organizations in the world, with 11 bases worldwide and more than 3,800 partner members.

CC-Link Family Roadmap

Demand for factory automation began increasing in the 1990s, and the increasing complexity of production lines created demand for industrial networks that could connect many types of devices. The CC-Link open fieldbus was developed for this purpose. The CC-Link Family would go on to evolve across three generations. CC-Link was released as the first generation technology in 2000, and was based on serial communication. This was followed in 2008 by our second generation technology, when we released specifications for the first open standard based on 1 Gbps Ethernet, CC-Link IE. With this, the amount of data that could be handled increased dramatically and the technology could now be used in a wider range of applications, from the field level to the controller level. Following increasing demand in the market for smart factories, we were the first in the world to release specifications for a technology that utilizes Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN), as our third generation technology in 2018.

The CLPA will continue to work with our Board Members and partners to bring technological innovation to CC-Link IE TSN, as we encourage the use of truly open industrial networks throughout the world that help accelerate the creation of “Connected Industries.”


  • 2000
    November 2000

    Establishment of the CC-Link Partner Association (CLPA)

    6 total Foundation Partners


  • 2001
    April 2001

    6 CLPA overseas bases established

    China/South Korea/Taiwan/Europe/North America/ASEAN

    July 2001

    specifications released

  • 2006
    November 2006

    specifications released

  • 2007
    November 2007

    concept released

    CLPA members: 1,000 companies
    CC-Link Family products
    reach 5 million total shipped!
  • 2008
    January 2008

    specifications released

  • 2009
    April 2009

    joins the CLPA Board of Directors

    Globalization also begins in the Board organization

    November 2009

    specifications released

  • 2010
    April 2010

    joins the CLPA Board of Directors

    Global giant in the cable/connector field joins

  • 2011
    April 2011

    specifications released

  • 2012
    October 2012

    India branch opens

    Responds to the manufacturing industry's advance to India

  • 2013
    October 2013

    joins the CLPA Board of Directors

    Promotes enhanced sensor lineups

  • 2014
    March 2014

    Turkey branch opens

    October 2014

    joins the CLPA Board of Directors

    Global giant in products related to industrial networks joins

  • 2015
    May 2015

    joins the CLPA Board of Directors

    Technological enhancement of the industrial IoT field

    CLPA members: 2,500 companies
    CC-Link Family products reach 15 million total shipped!
  • 2016
    February 2016

    Mexico branch opens

    March 2016

    Thailand branch opens

    August 2016

    specifications released

    November 2016

    Specifications released with PI to implement interconnectivity between CC-Link IE and PROFINET

  • 2017
    November 2017

    OPC UA and CSP+ for Machine companion specifications released with OPC Foundation

  • 2018
    April 2018

    CC-Link Partner Association obtained legal entity

    November 2018

    specifications released

    CLPA members: 3,500 companies
    CC-Link Family products reach 25 million total shipped!
  • 2020
    November 2020
    CLPA's 20th anniversary

    joins the CLPA Board of Directors

    Global giant in the semiconductor device manufacturing field joins