Industrial Ethernet Product Research May 2008

Research was undertaken to gain a better understanding of Control Engineering subscribers’ applications and needs regarding industrial Ethernet.


Research was undertaken to gain a better understanding of Control Engineering subscribers’ applications and needs regarding industrial Ethernet.

Executive Summary

• Among those specifying, recommending, and/or buying industrial Ethernet protocols, 78% do so for in-plant requirements and 44% buy for OEM needs.

• More than half (53%) of respondent’s mentioned the engineering department being involved on Ethernet crossfunctional teams. Over 40% mentioned that no team has been formed yet.

• Supervisory control and data acquisition is the most prominent plant-floor application of Industrial Ethernet protocol(s) at respondents’ locations. Diagnostic, testing & maintenance is applied at 43% of locations.

• Almost two-thirds of respondents are either considering or using Ethernet as an addition to their traditional industrial network. About half are considering or using Ethernet as an alternative to their traditional industrial network. The majority of respondents are either using or plan to use Ethernet protocol on monitoring / data acquisition or control.

• PCs, network hardware devices, and PLC hardware are the most common Ethernet connection or planned connection. The least common Ethernet connection or planned connection are pressure switches, level switches, and flow switches. EtherNet/IP and TCP/IP (native) are the most used or planned choice for Ethernet protocols.

• 28% of respondents mentioned with the usage of Ethernet in an industrial setting, they are using fewer other protocols. 54% mention their usage of other protocols has remained about the same.

• High speed and availability of devices are the two most important attributes when seeking Ethernet protocols. 62% of respondents have some familiarity with the attributes listed as important to Ethernet protocols. 21% consider themselves as having a good working knowledge, while 2% consider themselves experts at any of the definitions listed.

• Half of respondents started using industrial Ethernet of the plant floor within the last 5 years. Another 41% started using industrial Ethernet over 5 years ago. For those currently using Ethernet protocol, 99% are either very or somewhat satisfied with using Ethernet protocol when compared to using their favorite industrial network protocol.

• The average spending per respondent on industrial Ethernet is expected to decrease by almost 20% next year.

• 60% of respondents mention their Ethernet installations being done internally by control, plant or operations engineers with another 23% being done by third-party integrators. 58% of respondents feel using an Ethernet protocol is usually easier than using another means of industrial communication.

Industrial Ethernet Product Research 2008

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