Strong growth forecast for industrial wireless networking

According to Venture Development Corporation’s recent six-volume market study on global markets and user requirements for wireless and wireline network infrastructure products used in industrial facilities, high shipment growth rates are expected for wireless infrastructure products used in industrial facilities to markets in the major geographic regions of the world. The global market for these wireless infrastructure networking products is growing quite rapidly. VDC forecast shipments of these products will increase from $261.9 million in 2006 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 34%, reaching $1,130.8 million in 2011.

Several factors are expected to contribute to this robust growth:

  • There is a general trend toward networking in industrial facilities as a means of reducing costs, increasing efficiency, and improving productivity. Networking provides real-time data and information for better control, management, and decision making.
  • Networking provides the ability to monitor and control operations and machinery remotely. This capability can enhance safety, increase productivity, and reduce the number of engineers, equipment operators and maintenance personnel needed.
  • Networking eliminates point-to-point hard wiring, which is both expensive to install, difficult to troubleshoot, and hard to modify. Networking allows easier add-ons, changes and removal functions. This is especially valuable in applications where change-outs or expansions are frequent and expensive.

Helping the high growth trend to industrial networking is the growing acceptance of standard solutions, particularly Ethernet, and its wireless versions (Wi-Fi). These provide interoperability of equipment and devices from many suppliers. This competition is resulting in better performance and lower prices.

Reasons for choosing wireless networking products over wired products include:

  • Enables mobile usage
  • General growth in the use of wireless networking and growing awareness of the benefits provided by the use of this technology
  • Lower installation and maintenance costs compared to wired networks
  • New wireless standards, such as IEEE 802.15.4, being able to meet industrial users’ needs
  • New vendor and consortium driven initiatives based on the growing installed base and use of industrial wireless networking
  • Provides great flexibility in ease of expansion and relocation
  • Useable where running wireline is not possible

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