These days, Ethernet and other industrial networks are fast replacing hard wiring in machine and robot builder OEM applications. Automation components suppliers are including Ethernet and IP connectivity on more and more of their devices, creating a virtuous and ever expanding circle of Ethernet use. Indeed, the savings in wiring costs alone often justifies use of industrial networks.
Demand from OEMs and their customers for increased connectivity is driving Ethernet's increased use in the industrial arena, with growth forecast at approximately 10% per year through the next five years.
Ethernet offers OEMs the following benefits:
- Saves money over hardwiring
- Provides diagnostics
- Easier to interface to the enterprise
- Easier to implement remote connectivity
- Superior price/performance ratio
- Clear upgrade path from existing networks
- Existing base of experienced users
- Wired/wireless solutions can co-exist
Generally speaking, non-Ethernet industrial networks don't work as well as Ethernet when it comes to providing benefits such as connectivity to the enterprise and to remote users. Ethernet networks have particular advantages in these areas because of the wide acceptance of Ethernet beyond the plant floor. Simply put, it's easier to interface one Ethernet network to another than to interface a non-Ethernet network to an Ethernet network.
To learn more and read the Belden white paper on the subject, "Ethernet for Machines and Robots," click here.