Expanding Landscape Includes Infrastructure and Process
Industrial Ethernet (IE) switches are distinct from their commercial brethren in many ways: ruggedized enclosures, high IP ratings, mounting and connector types, ability to withstand extended temperature ranges, redundant components, and conformance to industrial infrastructure standards, among others.
Originally reliant on discrete automation applications, growth in the market for industrial Ethernet switches will be increasingly driven by usage in infrastructure and process automation. Infrastructure applications ranging from smart grid implementations to intelligent rail are increasingly reliant on industrial Ethernet.
The expanded potential market and its varying requirements results in a continued variety of configurations beyond the standard 5 to 8 point DIN Rail Fast Ethernet device. Instead, the mix of form factors, point counts, port speeds, media types, and other device characteristics continues to expand.
Availability of switches that meet requirements such as IEC 61850-3 for substation automation and EN 50155 for rail only further enhances Ethernet’s suitability in infrastructure applications.
Industrial Ethernet switch suppliers are faced with a widening market and competitive landscape. Device characteristics, standards support, toolsets supplied, and a host of other decisions must be driven by which market segments are targeted.
• What is the impact of the large volume of acquisition activity in this market?
• What are the leading motivations behind the acquisitions?
• How are product configurations changing, and what products are required in which markets?
• What will be the impact of embedded switches, and which segments will be most impacted?