Industrial Ethernet and wireless growing in market share according to HMS


By Process Online Staff
Monday, 06 March, 2017


HMS Industrial Networks has presented its annual analysis of the industrial network market, which focuses on new installed nodes within factory automation globally. 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. Below are some of the trends they see within industrial communication in 2017.

The IIoT is boosting Industrial Ethernet growth

According to HMS, Industrial Ethernet is growing faster than previous years, with a growth rate of 22%. Industrial Ethernet now makes up for 46% of the global market compared to 38% last year. EtherNet/IP and Profinet are tied at first place, with Profinet dominating in Central Europe and EtherNet/IP leading in North America. Runners-up globally are EtherCAT, Modbus-TCP and Ethernet POWERLINK.

“We definitely see an accelerated transition towards various Industrial Ethernet networks when it comes to new installed nodes,” said Anders Hansson, marketing director at HMS. “The transition to Industrial Ethernet is driven by the need for high performance, integration between factory installations and IT systems, as well as the Industrial Internet of Things in general.”

HMS's estimation for 2017 based on number of new installed nodes in 2016 within factory automation. The estimation is based on several market studies and HMS's own sales statistics. For a larger image click here.

Wireless is redefining the networking picture

Wireless technologies are growing quickly by 32% and now account for 6% of the total market. Within wireless, WLAN is the most popular technology, followed by Bluetooth.

“Wireless is increasingly being used by machine builders to realise innovative automation architectures and new solutions for connectivity and control, including bring-your-own-device (BYOD) solutions via tablets or smartphones,” said Hansson.

Fieldbus is still growing, but the growth is slowing down

Fieldbuses are still the most widely used type of networks with 48% of the market. Fieldbuses are still growing as many users ask for the traditional simplicity and reliability offered by fieldbuses, but the growth rate is slowing down, currently at around 4% compared to 7% last year. The dominant fieldbus is Profibus with 14% of the total world market, followed by Modbus-RTU and CC-Link, both at 6%.

Regional facts

In Europe and the Middle East, Profibus is still the leading network while Profinet has the fastest growth rate. Runners up are EtherCAT, Modbus-TCP and Ethernet POWERLINK.

The US market is dominated by the CIP networks where EtherNet/IP has overtaken DeviceNet in terms of market share.

In Asia, a fragmented network market is very visible. No network stands out as truly market leading, but Profibus, Profinet, EtherNet/IP, Modbus and CC-Link are widely used. EtherCAT continues to establish itself as a significant network, and CC-Link IE Field is also gaining traction.

More and more devices are getting connected

“The presented figures represent our consolidated view, taking into account insights from colleagues in the industry, our own sales statistics and overall perception of the market,” said Hansson. “It is interesting to see that Industrial Ethernet and wireless combined now account for more than half of the market at 52%, compared to fieldbuses at 48%. The success of a series of Industrial Ethernet networks and the addition of growing wireless technologies confirms that the network market remains fragmented, as users continue to ask for connectivity to a variety of fieldbus, Industrial Ethernet and wireless networks. All in all, industrial devices are getting increasingly connected, boosted by trends such as Industrial Internet of Things and Industry 4.0.”

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