Astudy from Dedham, Mass.-based ARC Advisory Group titled “Industrial Ethernet Infrastructure Worldwide Outlook” forecasts the market for hardened industrial Ethernet switches and other types of industrial Ethernet network infrastructure will increase to almost $1 billion during the next five years. The ARC report observes strong recent development and says no barrier currently exists to rein in this above-market growth.

A 2004 ARC report measured the industrial Ethernet infrastructure market at $124 million. This latest study finds the market grew to more than $260 million in 2006, and will continue to increase 29% annually, reaching $995 million in 2011.

Although Ethernet has secured a growing share of the global automation networking market, ARC's market research confirms that numerous other types of industrial networks have also been expanding over the last several years. Budding markets for manufactured products and the explosion of new manufacturing capacity in China and other areas of Asia have led to growth among manufacturing automation companies.

Ultimately, some of the applications now served by the many industrial device networks and motion control networks will migrate to industrial Ethernet. In turn, the market for industrial Ethernet switching will grow as machine automation system designs evolve to incorporate more Ethernet-based devices.

“While Ethernet will never entirely replace device networks, it will continue to pick up more applications over time,” says Harry Forbes, senior analyst at ARC Advisory Group and principal author of the report.

For more information on this ARC report, visit www.arcweb.com/res/ethernet-infra.