Digital network connectivity grows in level measurement


Digital networks transport an increasing share of continuous measurement information, according to a new Venture Development Corp . (VDC) market-study on the global proc-ess level measurement market.

Forecast continuous process level measuring device shipments to North American market—network connectivity basis (% of $; and with and without digital):

2004 Total: $320 million
With: 63.2%
Without: 36.8%

2009 Total: $358.6 million
With: 68.2%
Without: 31.8%

This trend is part of the ongoing shift from hardwiring to digital networking of indus-trial operations. Benefits of digital networking of sensors and sensor systems include:

• Enhanced signal integrity;
• Less wiring; and
• Two-way communications

In North America, as well as worldwide, the most extensively used digital network is HART.

Forecast continuous process level measuring device shipment shares to North Ameri-can markets with digital network connectivity (% of $ volumes):

2004 Total: $202.2 million

Others: &4.0%
FOUNDATION fieldbus: 3.7%
DeviceNet: 3.8%
Profibus: 4.1%
Modbus: 8.8%
HART: 71.0%


2009 Total: $244.6 Million


HART: 59.2%
Modbus: 8.4%
Profibus: 5.9%
DeviceNet: 4.2%
FOUNDATION fieldbus: 10.9%
Others: &4%

The study found similar expectations for Latin America and the Middle East and Afri-can markets, where the Foundation Fieldbus’ 2009 shares are expected to be about 13% and 16% respectively in 2000. In Europe, Profibus, and FOUNDATION fieldbus are ex-pected to account for about 11% of shipments each in 2009.

The Asia-Pacific market is somewhat different, as large shipment shares of the two largest suppliers of these products, Yokogawa, and Yamatake, are with proprietary protocols. Combined these products are expected to account for about 37% of 2009’s shipments. Even here, however, the HART shipments expected to still be larger in 2009 at over 43%. FOUNDATION fieldbus is expected to account for about 9% of this re-gional market in 2009.


Forecast shipment shares for wireless connectivity in 2009 ranged from being insig-nificant in the Asia-Pacific region up to 2.7% in North America.
— Richard Phelps, senior editor, Control Engineering

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