Ethernet tops industrial network market, fieldbus decline continues, says HMS Networks

While industrial Ethernet increases its market share to 64 per cent (from 59 per cent last year), fieldbuses drop to 30 per cent (from 35 per cent). The leading networks EtherNet/IP and PROFINET share first place at 17 per cent each.
Ethernet tops industrial network market, fieldbus decline continues, says HMS Networks
Halmstad (Sweden)

Industrial network connectivity for devices and machines is key to achieve smart connected factories. HMS Networks annual study of the industrial network market shows that Industrial Ethernet increases its market share to 64 per cent of new installed nodes (from 59 per cent last year), while fieldbuses drop to 30 per cent (from 35 per cent). The leading networks EtherNet/IP and PROFINET share first place at 17 per cent each. Wireless technologies stay at a 6 per cent market share.

HMS Networks presents its annual analysis of the industrial network market, focusing on new installed nodes within factory automation globally. The study includes HMS´ estimation for 2020 based on number of new installed nodes in 2019 within Factory Automation. A node is defined as a machine or device connected to an industrial network. The presented figures represent HMS´ consolidated view, considering insights from colleagues in the industry, its own sales statistics and overall perception of the market.

As an independent supplier of solutions for industrial communication and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), HMS has a substantial insight into the industrial network market. The 2020 study includes estimated market shares for fieldbuses, industrial Ethernet, and Wireless. Estimated growth rates are not included this year, the reason being the unique general market conditions due to COVID 19 pandemic.

In the study, HMS concludes that Industrial Ethernet continues to take market share from fieldbuses. Industrial Ethernet now makes up for 64 per cent of the global market of new installed nodes in Factory Automation (compared to 59 per cent last year). EtherNet/IP and PROFINET share first place at 17 per cent market share each. EtherCAT continues to perform well globally at 7 per cent, and Modbus-TCP at 5 per cent just passes Ethernet POWERLINK at 4 per cent.

Fieldbus market shares continue to drop
HMS estimates a fieldbus decline to 30 per cent of new installed nodes (compared to a 35 per cent last year). PROFIBUS is still number one at 8 per cent, for the first-time accounting for less than 10 per cent of the total industrial network market. Runners up are Modbus-RTU at 5 per cent, followed by CC-Link at 4 per cent.

“We expect the industrial network market to grow steadily during the coming years, but due to the unique Coronavirus situation which is now affecting the general business conditions globally, we have chosen not to include growth numbers in our 2020 analysis, only market shares. So, only focusing on market shares this year, we see that Industrial Ethernet continues to drive industrial connectivity in factories, headed by EtherNet/IP and PROFINET with EtherCAT in third place,” said Anders Hansson, Chief Marketing Officer at HMS Networks. 

Hansson added, “PROFIBUS is still the biggest fieldbus but has lost market share as the general decline for fieldbuses continues. Another interesting finding is that Modbus keeps doing well - both when it comes to fieldbus Modbus RTU as well as the Ethernet-based Modbus-TCP, indicating that factories do not refrain from using well-working technologies in their new installations just because they have been around for some time.”

Wireless stays stable, looking good for the future
Wireless technologies keep a 6 per cent market share, with WLAN still being the most popular technology, followed by Bluetooth. “Wireless keeps its market share on a growing market which is not bad, but we expect the Wireless share to increase over time. With all ongoing activities globally about wireless cellular technologies (e.g. Private LTE/5G networks) as enablers for next-level smart manufacturing, market demand will increase for wirelessly connected devices and machines to be included in the less cabled and flexible automation architectures of the future,” stated Anders Hansson.

Regional network variations
EtherNet/IP and PROFINET are leading in Europe and the Middle East with PROFIBUS and EtherCAT as runners up. Other popular networks are Modbus (RTU/TCP) and Ethernet POWERLINK. The US market is dominated by EtherNet/IP with EtherCAT gaining some market share. PROFINET and EtherNet/IP lead a fragmented Asian market, followed by PROFIBUS, EtherCAT, Modbus (RTU/TCP), and CC-Link/CC-Link IE Field.

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