According to MarketsandMarkets, the industrial ethernet market was valued at USD 9.2 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 13.7 billion by 2026. It is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.3% during the forecast period. Growing need for scalable, fast, reliable, and inter-operable communication protocols, increasing initiatives by governments of developing countries to promote adoption of industrial automation, and growing popularity of smart automobiles are contributing to the growth of the industrial ethernet market. Rising adoption of 5G to act as a growth opportunity for the market players.
The hardware segment is expected to hold the largest share of the industrial ethernet market by 2026. Devices such as IP phones and PCs are connected to the internet to enable rapid communication in industries. Machine-to-machine (M2M) communication in the industrial environment helps facilitate efficient plant operations. It accelerates operations and ensures higher reliability and robustness across various industries, such as automotive, transportation, aerospace & defense, pharmaceutical, and food & beverage. However, a secure and robust network is required to protect internet-connected devices from data manipulation or theft. Such a robust application-specific network can be built using networking components. The hardware segment covers the components that are used to build specific communication networks. The components include switches, routers, gateways, power supply devices, controllers, and others.
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The Ethernet/IP protocol is estimated to account for the largest size of the industrial ethernet market from 2021 to 2026 in terms of value. Ethernet/IP is an industrial ethernet protocol developed by Rockwell Automation, Inc. (US) in 1990. It is now managed by the Open DeviceNet Vendors Association (ODVA). Ethernet/IP is one of the leading industrial protocols and is widely used in various industries, including hybrid and process. As Ethernet/IP uses standard ethernet and switches, it can have hundreds of nodes in a system. This allows for the use of a single network across many different endpoints on a factory floor. It facilitates users with the tools to deploy standard ethernet technology (IEEE 802.3 combined with the TCP/IP Suite) in industrial automation applications, enabling the availability of internet and enterprise connectivity at different locations.
In terms of geographic coverage, theindustrial ethernet market has been segmented into North America, Asia Pacific (APAC), Europe, and the Rest of the World (RoW). APAC is currently the largest manufacturing hub for the automobile and electronic companies. To compete with other global players, the companies in APAC use advanced automation systems, which require highly reliable communication networks for machine-to-machine (M2M) communication in their plants. The manufacturing companies in APAC extensively adopt the smart factory concept for implementing advanced manufacturing technologies on the factory floor. This innovative concept has transformed the manufacturing sector in APAC and has increased the implementation of smart automation in factories. The growing acceptance of Industrial Revolution 4.0 in APAC is also a factor driving the growth of the regional market. The decrease in the number of COVID-19 patients in China is slowly normalizing the manufacturing activities in the country. This, in turn, is expected to drive the growth of the industrial ethernet market in APAC. However, it is likely that this growth will not be as significant as it was estimated in the pre-COVID-19 era.