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Key suppliers `preparing to back Lonworks`

01 April, 2000

At least one major automation supplier - and possibly several - will be backing the Echelon Corporation`s Lonworks control network technology within a year, predicts Echelon`s vice-president for Europe, Frits Brugginck.

Although Lonworks was one of the few industrial networks excluded from the recent IEC and Cenelec field bus standards, Brugginck is confident that the technology is poised to achieve a similar success in the automation arena to that it already enjoys in building automation where it has become a de facto standard and is supported by several major players including Invensys and Honeywell.

"I think that the same will happen in industrial automation as has happened in building automation," Brugginck told Drives & Controls at the recent Hanover Fair.

So far, Lonworks has had limited success in the industrial sector although it has attracted support from some major players including ABB, which offers Lonworks-based drives modules, and SMC, which has developed Lonworks-based pneumatic valve manifolds.

"We`ve got to find strong partners in industrial automation," Brugginck says. "I am confident that we will find them within 12 months." He hints that Echelon is already working with several potential industrial partners.

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