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Industrial Ethernet now bigger than fieldbuses

   

Industrial Ethernet now bigger than fieldbuses

According to HMS Industrial Networks´ annual study of the industrial network market, Industrial Ethernet has overtaken traditional fieldbuses in terms of new installed nodes in factory automation. Industrial Ethernet now accounts for 52% of new installed nodes (46% last year), while fieldbuses are on 42% (48). EtherNet/IP is now the most widely installed network at 15%, followed by PROFINET and PROFIBUS, both at 12%. Wireless technologies are also coming on strong with 6% market share.

As an independent supplier of products and services for industrial communication and the Internet of Things, HMS has a substantial insight into the industrial network market. Here are some of the trends they see within industrial communication in 2018, also looking back on the network market share evolution during the last 5 years. Industrial Ethernet has been growing faster than traditional fieldbuses for a number of years and has now overtaken fieldbuses. With a growth rate of 22%, Industrial Ethernet now makes up for 52% of the global market compared to 46% last year. EtherNet/IP has emerged as the largest network with 15% of the market. Ethernet runners-up globally are PROFINET, EtherCAT, Modbus-TCP and Ethernet POWERLINK. "We have seen the transition to industrial Ethernet for a long time, but it isn´t until now that it has actually overtaken fieldbuses when it comes to number of new installed nodes," says Anders Hansson, Chief Marketing Officer at HMS. "The transition to industrial Ethernet is driven by the need for high performance, integration between factory installations and IT/IoT-systems, as well as the Industrial Internet of Things in general."

Wireless technologies are also growing by 32% (32) and accounts for 6% (6) of the total market. Within Wireless, WLAN is the most popular technology, followed by Bluetooth. "Wireless is increasingly being used by machine builders and system integrators to realize innovative automation architectures. Users can reduce cabling and create new solutions for connectivity and control, including Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) solutions via tablets or smartphones," says Anders Hansson.

In Europe and the Middle East, PROFINET and EtherNet/IP are leading and PROFIBUS is still widely used. Other popular networks are EtherCAT, Modbus-TCP and Ethernet POWERLINK. The US market is dominated by the CIP networks, with a clear movement towards EtherNet/IP. In Asia, no network stands out as truly market-leading, but PROFINET, EtherNet/IP, PROFIBUS, EtherCAT, Modbus and CC-Link are widely used, with the Ethernet version CC-Link IE Field also gaining traction.

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