Industrial Ethernet continues to outpace traditional fieldbuses

For engineers interested in the industrial communications market, each year
HMS Networks produces a report from their market research. Through 2023, HMS
expects the industrial network market to grow by 7%. Significantly, this growth
highlights the ongoing importance of network connectivity in factory
automation. As an example, they expect the growth of installed Industrial
Ethernet nodes, to be 10% higher than the previous year.

Here is a concise summary of the key findings from their 2023 analysis.

Industrial Ethernet continues to outpace traditional fieldbuses
[Source: HMS Networks]

Industrial Ethernet

Industrial Ethernet continues to show the highest growth, now accounting for
68% of all newly installed nodes in factory automation, up from 66% the
previous year. This 10% growth indicates a steady increase in its market share.
Key players in this segment are PROFINET and EtherNet/IP, each with an 18%
market share, closely followed by fast growing EtherCAT at 12%. CC-Link IE has
also increased from 2% to 3%

Furthermore, despite their established presence, traditional fieldbuses are
on a decline, now holding 24% of the market, down from 27%. The leading
fieldbus technologies are PROFIBUS (6% market share) and Modbus-RTU (5%).

Wireless solutions in industrial networking are growing
rapidly, with a 22% increase in 2023, albeit from a small base. Furthermore,
the main divers of growth include applications like cable replacement, wireless
machine access, and connectivity to mobile industrial equipment, now holding an
8% market share. As 5G also begins to penetrate the industrial landscape, the expectation is
that wireless solutions will maintain this growth.

Regional variations

As expected, the report highlights regional differences in network
preferences. In Europe and the Middle East, EtherNet/IP, PROFINET, and EtherCAT
are leading, while the U.S. market favours EtherNet/IP and EtherCAT. In a more
fragmented Asian market, PROFINET is predominant, followed by EtherNet/IP and
other contenders like CC-Link and Modbus.

Magnus Jansson, Product Marketing Director at HMS Networks, emphasises that
robust industrial network connectivity is crucial for achieving manufacturing
uptime, productivity, and sustainability objectives. The increasing diversity
and quality of network solutions, including safety and security features, are
vital for the industry’s expansion.

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