Industrial Fiber Optics

Copper cables take 77% market share for global Industrial Ethernet cabling, will dominate til 2020


According to the latest market study released by Technavio (London), the global industrial Ethernet cables market is expected to reach USD 941.2 million by 2020, growing at an impressive CAGR of more than 17%. The firm’s news research report, titled ‘Global Industrial Ethernet Cables Market 2016-2020’, provides an in-depth analysis of the market in terms of revenue and emerging market trends. The report also presents the vendor landscape and a corresponding detailed analysis of the top five vendors operating in the market.

According to Technavio’s analysts, the copper cables segment dominated the global industrial Ethernet cables market with a market share of over 77% in 2015, owing to high adoption of CAT 6 and CAT 6a cables with 100 Mbps to 1 Gbps data transmission speed. The analysts do note that, on the other hand, the market for fiber-optic cables is the fastest growing due to increased incorporation of gigabit speed over long distances and the ability of such cables to withstand radio and electromagnetic interference. These cables are highly preferred in the oil and gas and pulp and paper industries.

Technavio’s industrial automation analysis categorizes the global industrial Ethernet cables market into three major segments by application. They are: Factory floor; Machines; Control rooms; Global industrial Ethernet cables market for factory floor.

The global industrial Ethernet cables market for factory floor was valued at USD 222.6 million in 2015. Technavio analysts expect it to reach USD 521 million by 2020, growing at a CAGR of more than 18%. The industrial Ethernet network was initially used to enhance office-level communications and to convey large data packets at great speeds. Industrial Ethernet is being used to achieve data communication in the manufacturing sector. Such technologies provide reliability and network security similar to traditional Fieldbus solutions with added advantages of improved bandwidth, open connectivity, and standardization.

According to Bharath Kanniappan, a lead automation research analyst from Technavio, “Many companies in the manufacturing sector are relying on Ethernet technology for network intelligence and its robust cables and connectors, which provide reliable and secure data. Ethernet technology data transfer rates range from 10 Mbps to 10 Gbps Ethernets. Gigabit speeds can be transmitted reliably via twisted CAT 6 and CAT 6a copper cables, which are preferred in factory floor operations for higher-level industrial control applications due to their high speeds and ability to transmit crucial real-time data.”

Global industrial Ethernet cables market for machines

The global industrial Ethernet cables market for machines is anticipated to be valued at USD 291.2 million by 2020, posting a CAGR of above 15%. The industrial and automation industries are being constantly revamped to adapt to high speed and ensure reliability and accuracy. The components used in machines and robots must be precise to satisfy the exacting standards of the industry and follow modern-day communication network standards to stay competitive in the market. Manufacturers are increasingly adopting industrial Ethernet networks such as EtherCAT, Modbus TCP/IP, and SERCOS III to establish communication between HMI, distributed I/O, sensors, controllers, drives, and electric motors within industrial machines or robots. “Industrial Ethernet cabling can withstand extreme temperatures and resist chemical and oil spills. These cables are being increasingly adopted to support the framework within these machines due to increased adoption of industrial robots and industrial plant equipment and machinery,” adds Bharath. “In addition, the low cost of Ethernet and its easy availability are increasing the demand for Ethernet technology. For instance, a robot builder is dependent on a solitary vendor for an entire proprietary motion assembly.”

Global industrial Ethernet cables market for control rooms

The global industrial Ethernet cables market for control rooms is one of the fastest growing segments in the market, growing at a CAGR of almost 17%. A control room local area network consists of printers, HMIs, servers, and wide area network (WAN) devices. Previously, system integrators used a mixed-mode networking solution, where cheap commercial-grade switches and cables were used in control rooms, and industrial-grade switches and cables were limited at field sites. The use of such mixed networks can create several interoperability issues and delay the diagnosis of problem areas. Customized cables are the most preferred in control room applications due to different redundancy requirements within the confined environment. Vendors have started to invest in customizing cabling solutions with input from consultants and contractors that are engaged in designing control solutions. The top vendors highlighted by Technavio’s research analysts in this report are: Belden; General Cable; Nexans; SAB Brockskes, and Siemon.

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