VDC reports shift in connectivity for industrial I/O markets

OCTOBER 8, 2008--A new market study from VDC Research Group (Natick, MA, USA; www.vdcresearch.com) finds significant shipment growth expectations for distributed/remote I/O products using Ethernet-based and safety bus/network connectivity.

Oct 8th, 2008

OCTOBER 8, 2008--A new market study from VDC Research Group (Natick, MA, USA; www.vdcresearch.com), "Industrial Distributed/Remote I/O: Global Market Demand and User Requirements Analysis, Fifth Edition," finds significant shipment growth expectations for distributed/remote I/O products using Ethernet-based and safety bus/network connectivity.

Included in this study are products for use with distributed control systems (DCSs), PC-based control system, and programmable logic controller (PLC) system applications.

Due to low-cost, high-bandwidth, simple integration with many devices and ubiquitous installation, Ethernet-based network applications continue to take share.

The worldwide market for industrial distributed/remote I/O utilizing Ethernet-based connectivity is forecast to grow at an annual rate of 11.6% through 2013, compared to 6.8% for all others combined. Worldwide shipment shares of Ethernet-based distributed/remote I/O are expected to grow from 24.5% of the total in 2008 to nearly 29% in 2013.

Many application layer protocols are used with Ethernet in industrial applications. Among these:

  • Modbus TCP and Ethernet/IP account for the largest worldwide shipment shares of the distributed remote I/O products studied.
  • Ethernet/IP and Ethernet/IP Safety account for the largest share increases over the next four years
  • Lesser increases also are expected for EtherCat, EthernetPowerlink, PROFINET and PROFINET Safety, as well as wireless Ethernet.

Worldwide shipment of distributed/remote I/O for use with safety buses/networks accounts for less than 5% of the total. However, this is a rapidly growing segment and is expected to increase to 9.0% market share in 2013 at an average annual growth rate of over 22% during this period.

The largest worldwide shipment share is for use with AS-I Safety at Work. As a low-cost, simple solution that can be used in conjunction with more intelligent safety buses, shipments using AS-i Safety at Work are expected to remain strong through 2013. As evident in the overall trend toward Ethernet-based distributed/remote I/O buses/networks, the worldwide leader in safety bus/network shipment shares in 2013 is expected to be Ethernet/IP safety. Shipments with Ethernet-based PROFINET are also expected to grow and will account for the third largest share in 2013.

Growth in shipments with a number of other lesser used safety buses/networks are also expected, including CC-Link Safety, ControlNet Safety, Foundation Fieldbus Safety, and Sercos III Safety. Thus, expectations are that the safety bus segment of the distributed/remote I/O market will become more crowded, VDC says, resulting in a need for vendors to differentiate themselves in this marketplace.

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