Fieldbus adoption drives growth of valve island market

Wellingborough, U.K.—The market for valve islands (VIs) in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa is expected to grow at 6.8% per year during the next five years, according to a new study and analysis by IMS Research.

By Control Engineering Staff December 28, 2004

Wellingborough, U.K.— The market for valve islands (VIs) in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa is expected to grow at 6.8% per year during the next five years, according to a new study and analysis by IMS Research . This increase likely will be driven by users seeking to integrate pneumatics into their networked systems. IMS adds

VIs are modular groupings of pneumatic and hydraulic valves. These grouping are intended to optimize design, assembly, layout, piping, and wiring, costs of machine and system controls using such valves.

IMS says its latest analysis of the VI market estimates that 364,427 islands were sold in 2003, and projects that number will grow to 507,497 sold in 2008. Valve islands with fieldbus connectivity are expected to account for the majority of this growth, adds IMS, while the more traditional multi-pole or parallel connection methods are expected to grow very little during this period.

IMS adds that it consulted manufacturers and users for its study, and found that there was a strong demand for Ethernet connectivity. “We found that few manufacturers currently had a product that had direct connectivity to Ethernet, whereas our user survey suggested that this would be a common requirement in three years time,” says John Morse, IMS’ senior market analyst. “The lack of existing products is a little surprising in view of recent studies of the industrial communications market, which found Ethernet becoming a well established and increasingly popular option.”

Control Engineering Daily News DeskJim Montague, news editorjmontague@reedbusiness.com