What’s hot and what’s not: The Industrial network landscape, according to HMS

Alex Kaiser
Alex Kaiser, HMS

Axel Kaiser is Global Key Account Manager for Schneider Electric at HMS Industrial Networks. HMS provides hardware, software and services to connect devices such as robots, control systems, motors and sensors to any industrial network and is the preferred partner for the world’s leading industrial device manufacturers. With more than 20 years of experience within automation, system integration and M2M, Axel has solid experience of how to connect devices to fieldbuses and industrial Ethernet networks.

Ethernet is growing faster than traditional fieldbuses, but the shift to industrial Ethernet is taking longer than first anticipated. This is the main conclusion we drew at HMS Industrial Networks when we did our annual analysis of the industrial network market earlier this year.

HMS Industrial Networks is an independent supplier of products and services for industrial communication. Our products enable industrial devices to connect to different industrial networks and we, therefore, have substantial insight into the industrial network market. Here is a look at some of the trends we see within industrial communication right now.

Both fieldbus and industrial Ethernet networks are growing, but Ethernet is growing faster

Looking at newly installed nodes within factory automation globally, fieldbuses are still the most widely used type of network, with 66% of the market, and their use is still growing by approximately 7% per year. The main drivers for fieldbus growth are simplicity, tradition and reliability. The dominant fieldbus is PROFIBUS (18% of the total world market), followed by Modbus (7%), DeviceNet (6%) and CC-Link (6%).Fieldbus vs Industrial Ethernet

Industrial Ethernet networks, on the other hand, make up 34% of the market and are increasing at a faster rate than fieldbuses (17% per year), but HMS concludes that it will take some time before Industrial Ethernet surpasses fieldbuses. The main drivers for Ethernet growth are higher performance and office network integration. PROFINET and EtherNet/IP are the two biggest Ethernet networks, with 8% of the total network market each. Runners-up are EtherCAT, Modbus-TCP and POWERLINK.

More and more devices are getting connected

More than 25 years of experience in industrial communication has given us extensive insight into the industrial network market. The figures we present are based on assessments from colleagues in the industry, our own sales statistics and overall perception of the market. On a general note, we see a shift towards industrial Ethernet but the migration to Industrial Ethernet is taking longer than first expected. We still get a lot of requests for connectivity to both fieldbus and industrial Ethernet.

What is completely evident, however, is that the network market remains fragmented and that industrial devices are becoming more and more connected. This is accentuated by trends such as Industrial Internet of Things and Industry 4.0.

Want to know more about industrial communication and how HMS can help connect devices? Visit www.hms-networks.com