Industrial Ethernet device market projected to grow 51.4% per year

The worldwide market for industrial Ethernet devices is expected to grow at a 51.4% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) during next five years to more than 6.7 million units in 2009 from 840,000 units in 2004, according to “Industrial Ethernet Devices Market Outlook Study" by ARC Advisory Group.


The worldwide market for industrial Ethernet devices is expected to grow at a 51.4% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) during next five years to more than 6.7 million units in 2009 from 840,000 units in 2004, according to “ Industrial Ethernet Devices Market Outlook Study " by ARC Advisory Group. This market study includes worldwide revenue for industrial Ethernet switches, which is expected to grow at a 49.9% CAGR to reach $939.8 million in 2009 from $124.4 million in 2004.

"Ethernet technology is rapidly penetrating the device level of automation hierarchy. This provides one of those rare opportunities in which a new technology can upset the supplier landscape," says Ralph Rio, ARC’s research director and the study’s principal author. “Suppliers who pay close attention to the market dynamics will benefit."

ARC’s study adds the aggregate market for industrial Ethernet devices has grown substantially in the past few years, despite a difficult market for automation equipment in most areas. Using commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) technologies makes applying Ethernet to industrial networking easier for pilot projects, system extensions, application development, and new automation systems. Devices and systems that support Ethernet and Internet Protocol suite use the vast IT infrastructure, which includes switches, firewalls, network management tools, development tools, and messaging standards.

However, while some users may start with a cheaper, office-grade switch, ARC adds they’re soon reminded of the importance of reliability in industrial environments. Protection for factory environments must address heat, vibration, electrical noise, dust, and other factors. Presently, nearly all industrial Ethernet switches are rated IP20 to IP40. ARC forecasts an increase in the need for IP67 to IP68 as industrial networking expands deeper into process control applications where liquids are present.

—Jim Montague, news editor, Control Engineering,

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