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Industrial Ethernet becoming more important in China

10 December 2013

The Chinese market for industrial Ethernet & fieldbus technologies grew by 18 million nodes in 2012. More than three million nodes used Ethernet while the remainder used fieldbus technology.

Although Fieldbus has a large base of new connected nodes in the region, the use of fieldbus is still not as common as it is developed countries such as Germany or the US. This, says IMS Research, is because Chinese customers are encountering networking technology much later than those developing countries.

In China, international brands are quite influential. This is also true for industrial networking protocols because most of them have supporting companies. For example, the most popular fieldbus protocols in China are Profibus and CC-Link, which were originally developed and promoted by Siemens and Mitsubishi separately, which command large market share in China.

On the other hand, some open protocols also have a large number of nodes connected, and the most representative ones are CANOpen, Modbus and HART. However, these three protocols are most likely to be used in low-end applications for easy connections.

With the upgrading of old facilities and the construction of new plants in China, customers also are being compelled to upgrade their systems using Ethernet. However, this move will not only be implemented by the customers, but also by the industrial automation vendors as well.

Most protocols now have an Ethernet variant and, for this reason many fieldbus users will turn to the Ethernet version of the application, for example, Profibus to Profinet, CC-Link to CC-Link IE. And the new automation products will also support those new Ethernet connections.

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