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Research finds Industrial Ethernet increases its market share yet Fieldbus decline continues


Research house HMS Networks has issued its annual study of the industrial network market, which shows that Industrial Ethernet increases its market share to 64% of new installed nodes (59% last year), whilst that of the Fieldbus drops to 30% from 35% last year. The leading networks EtherNet/IP and PROFINET share first place at 17% each. In turn, wireless technologies remain stable at 6% market share.

In the study, HMS states that EtherCAT continues to perform well globally at 7%, and Modbus-TCP at 5% just passes Ethernet POWERLINK at 4%. PROFIBUS is still number one at 8%, and for the first time accounting for less than 10% of the total industrial network market. Runners up are Modbus-RTU at 5%, followed by CC-Link at 4%.

“We expect the industrial network market to grow steadily during the coming years, but due to the unique Corona virus situation, which is now affecting the general business conditions globally, we have chosen not to include growth numbers in our 2020 analysis, only market shares,” said Anders Hansson, Chief Marketing Officer at HMS Networks. “Hence, only focusing on market shares this year, we see that Industrial Ethernet continues to drive industrial connectivity in factories, headed by EtherNet/IP and PROFINET with EtherCAT in third place.”

EtherNet/IP and PROFINET are leading in Europe and the Middle East with PROFIBUS and EtherCAT as runners up. Other popular networks are Modbus (RTU/TCP) and Ethernet POWERLINK.

The US market is dominated by EtherNet/IP with EtherCAT gaining some market share. PROFINET and EtherNet/IP lead a fragmented Asian market, followed by PROFIBUS, EtherCAT, Modbus (RTU/TCP), and CC-Link/CC-Link IE Field.

When it comes to wireless technologies, WLAN is still the most popular, followed by Bluetooth.

“We expect the wireless share to increase over time,” said Hansson. “With all ongoing activities globally about wireless cellular technologies (e.g. Private LTE/5G networks) as enablers for next-level smart manufacturing, market demand will increase for wirelessly-connected devices and machines to be included in fewer cabled and flexible automation architectures of the future.”

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