ARC: Ethernet market to top $1 billion by 2012

'No barrier in sight' to slow market expansion, report finds
By Plant Engineering Staff September 20, 2007

The market for hardened industrial Ethernet switches and other types of industrial Ethernet network infrastructure will grow to nearly a $1 billion market during the next 5 years, according to a new ARC Advisory Group study, “Industrial Ethernet Infrastructure Worldwide Outlook” ( www.arcweb.com/res/ethernet-infra ).

The ARC report notes the strong recent growth and predicts that there is no barrier in sight that will bring this above-market growth to a halt.

The industrial Ethernet infrastructure market was measured in an earlier ARC report at $124 million in 2004.

Ethernet has captured a growing share of the global automation networking market, but ARC’s market research has shown that many other types of industrial networks have also been expanding during the past 2-3 years.

Some, and perhaps many, of the applications now served by the various industrial device networks and motion control networks will eventually migrate to industrial Ethernet.

Industrial Ethernet switches are built quite differently from the type of Ethernet switches that are found in office wiring closets.d spills that can be found in manufacturing areas. They also may use different and more rugged connectors than office Ethernet networks. As Ethernet penetrates “down” the automation ladder into more simple devices, network reliability and performance become critical in the production process. This is most evident when Ethernet is used to directly control the motion of machine elements, which is beginning to happen now.

Harry Forbes (hforbes@arcweb.com), a senior analyst at ARC Advisory Group and the principal author of the new report, notes that “Ethernet continues to grow into a greater number of application areas within manufacturing.device and an Ethernet switch at some point in the future. Regardless, ARC expects this kind of double-digit growth for industrial Ethernet switching to be sustained going forward.”

For more information on this study, please visit ARC’s Website at: www.arcweb.com/res/ethernet-infra