Fast growth projected for industrial Ethernet

Wellingborough, U.K.—The industrial Ethernet market in Europe and North America will grow rapidly for at least the next five years, according to a recent study by IMS Research.


Wellingborough, U.K.— The industrial Ethernet market in Europe and North America will grow rapidly for at least the next five years, according to a recent study by IMS Research . The automation analyst firm says this is many times greater than growth expected for the overall automation industry, and reflects an increase in networking generally and a shift to Ethernet-based protocols, as users seek a universal networking technology.

IMS estimates that 221,800 industrial Ethernet infrastructure components were shipped in North America in 2003, and it anticipates that these shipments will more than double by 2008. The firm also predicted that use of Ethernet hubs will continue to decline in favor of switches. Ethernet-enabled devices, such as PLCs and HMIs, are expected to experience growth similar to the infrastructure components market.

IMS also examined the complexities of the different mix of Ethernet-based technologies available. “Any manufacturer that wants to be a part of the industrial Ethernet explosion must be able to offer connectivity to the traditional Ethernet TCP/IP protocol,' says John Morse, IMS' senior market analyst. 'In addition, for maximum impact in North America, producers should think carefully about EtherNet/IP. Connectivity to other Ethernet-based technologies is a bonus at this time.”

However, Morse adds that, “It must not be forgotten that the speed of change in this complex market is far greater than what is normally experienced in the industrial automation industry, and the situation can change very quickly. Producers and users should keep regularly abreast of the latest developments in this important area.”

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Jim Montague, news editor

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