Ethernet: Driving Growth in Industrial Networking
April 1, 2009
The worldwide market for industrial infrastructure wireline networking products exceeded $1.8 billion in 2007, and it is forecast to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 24.6 percent through 2012, reaching over $5.6 billion, according to Supply Side Analysis Reports. The report is part of the annual Industrial Networking Global Market Intelligence Service from VDC Research, Natick, Mass. Wireline networking products covered in the reports include:
- Industrial-grade interconnect products: connectors, cables,
and cord sets, and distribution boxes.
- Networking components: bridges, console servers, device servers,
fiber optic transceivers, gateways (protocol converters), hubs, modems,
multiplexers, routers and switches.
- Network management software: though sold separately, most of this software is bundled with hardware shipments.
- Commercial-Grade Products.
Hardened and ruggedized infrastructure products are not needed for all
environments in industrial facilities. The availability of Ethernet
commercial-grade products allows users installation flexibility at much more
- Company-Wide Uniformity. Ethernet
commonly is used in the office and also the plant floor, saving on
infrastructure, training, support and other costs associated with supporting
multiple network protocols.
- Ease of Integration with Internet/Intranets.
Ethernet's TCP/IP and other protocols extend control and monitoring capabilities
to remote locations without the use of gateways.
- High Speed and Wide Bandwidth. Ethernet
is available in 10 and 100 Mbps as well as 1 Gbps data rates. Ethernet networks
can be implemented at the appropriate bandwidth to enable quick response times
and/or transfer of large files.
- Lower Cost Connectivity. As shipments of networking products with Ethernet connectivity increase, the cost of the connecting devices and cabling for these is decreasing. Even when using industrial-grade connectors and cables, the cost for these using Ethernet is less than that of other open standard and proprietary buses/networks.
However, at least at present, many users who seek plant-floor automation often find wireline networking infrastructure products to be more reliable than wireless. Interference-free performance with high reliability and security is sought, and end users more commonly feel wireline products best guarantee this.