Wireless networking sales set to surge
After “years of unfulfilled hype and hope”, the wireless networking market is about to experience a significant increase in orders, shipments and revenues. This prediction comes from the US market analyst VDC Research, which says the development of standards, and improvements in technology and security, are removing some of the major barriers to adoption and relieving security and reliability concerns.
VDC predicts that the 802.11 family of networks will play an increasingly dominant role as they continue to edge out earlier proprietary narrowband networks.
VDC expects Ethernet/IP and PROFInet to be the main communication media for discrete industrial automation applications in 2011, while Modbus TCP, ISA SP-100.11a and Wireless HART will dominate process applications.
Another trend, according to VDC, is for suppliers to embed switching ports into products such as network I/O adaptors, PLCs and drives. This will help them to rationalise their product offerings, as well as helping users to drive down costs, save space and reduce cabling. Several key suppliers expect around 10% of their products to incorporate Ethernet switching.
VDC also expects more mergers and acquisitions to take place in the industrial networking market and predicts that these changes could shape the industry for the next decade. There is an increasing likelihood, it adds, that a large IT player will make a “large bet” by acquiring an industrial networking supplier.