Shift to I/O level: Ethernet value proposition moves down to devices

Dedham, MA — Industrial Ethernet is migrating into the device or I/O level of the automation network hierarchy, according to a new ARC Advisory Group study. Global market for Ethernet-based devices and I/O is predicted to increase at a compounded annual growth rate of 27.5% over the next five years. A Control Engineering survey on industrial Ethernet protocols showed 63% of respondents use Ethernet at the I/O level.<br/>


Dedham, MA — Industrial Ethernet’s migration into the device or I/O level of the automation network hierarchy “signals its continued march downward in the enterprise architecture,” according to a new

ARC Advisory Group

study. The global market for Ethernet-based devices and I/O is predicted to increase at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 27.5% over the next five years.

A Control Engineering survey on industrial Ethernet protocols showed 63% of respondents use Ethernet at the I/O level

. How many nodes?

ARC says market size in 2007 totaled more than 1 million nodes; it is forecast to increase to more than 3 million nodes by 2012. Currently a staple at the control level of automation hierarchy, automation-applicable standards, intelligent implementation strategies, and overall improvements in product reliability have made Ethernet a key option in the most demanding motion control applications, ARC says; more important to growth potential is market emphasis on Ethernet’s commonality rather than its openness.

wants to support their own higher-level protocols,” said ARC vice president Chantal Polsonetti, principal author of

ARC’s Ethernet-based Device Networks Worldwide Outlook


One network technology that enables vertical integration throughout the enterprise over the same network, at least at lower tiers of the network stack, is described as a compelling value proposition for manufacturers, ARC says. Easy network integration and configuration/reconfiguration and the potential for less expensive, flatter architectures and enterprise-wide data exchange that can be used for multiple purposes from process optimization to asset management are now possible, the research firm continues. A common skill base for configuration, installation, maintenance, and troubleshooting reduces need for specialized personnel and provides a broader skill base and more accessible training and support. Ethernet’s global availability and support by key IT and automation vendors makes it more attractive than dedicated industrial networks, ARC says.

Evidence of reduced emphasis on openness versus commonality in industrial Ethernet is seen in the network in embedded applications, where proprietary protocols typically are in use, ARC says, adding that, in motion control, industrial Ethernet is being adopted in single-vendor applications that don’t require the ability to plug-and-play components from different suppliers.

Also read from Control Engineering :
Who Puts the 'Industrial’ in Ethernet?

Tutorial Podcast: How to put the “Industrial” in Ethernet

Product Research: Industrial Ethernet Protocols

- Control Engineering News Desk
( Register here and scroll down to select your choice of eNewsletters free .)

No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2013 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
A cool solution: Collaboration, chemistry leads to foundry coat product development; See the 2015 Product of the Year Finalists
Raising the standard: What's new with NFPA 70E; A global view of manufacturing; Maintenance data; Fit bearings properly
Sister act: Building on their father's legacy, a new generation moves Bales Metal Surface Solutions forward; Meet the 2015 Engineering Leaders Under 40
Cyber security cost-efficient for industrial control systems; Extracting full value from operational data; Managing cyber security risks
Drilling for Big Data: Managing the flow of information; Big data drilldown series: Challenge and opportunity; OT to IT: Creating a circle of improvement; Industry loses best workers, again
Pipeline vulnerabilities? Securing hydrocarbon transit; Predictive analytics hit the mainstream; Dirty pipelines decrease flow, production—pig your line; Ensuring pipeline physical and cyber security
Upgrading secondary control systems; Keeping enclosures conditioned; Diagnostics increase equipment uptime; Mechatronics simplifies machine design
Designing positive-energy buildings; Ensuring power quality; Complying with NFPA 110; Minimizing arc flash hazards
Building high availability into industrial computers; Of key metrics and myth busting; The truth about five common VFD myths

Annual Salary Survey

After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.

The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.

Read more: 2014 Salary Survey: Confidence rises amid the challenges

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.