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Market survey 11 years of Ethernet and real time Ethernet

Machine-builders demanding compatibility of real time Ethernet protocols

The machine-builders demanding for compatibility of the real time Ethernet protocols. This demand is one of the results from the four representative market surveys Quest TechnoMarketing carried out about the market shares of Ethernet and real time Ethernet in the German machinery industry in the years 2005 to 2012.

Machine tool

Update October 13th, 2014 - The machine-builders provided notes to necessary adaptions and innovations to the address of the Ethernet suppliers also in the fourth Ethernet survey from Quest TechnoMarketing at the end of 2012.


A central point of these notes concerns the problem of the compatibility between various real time Ethernet protocols.

"28% of the machine-builders with real time Ethernet are using several real time Ethernet protocols."

28% of the machine-builders with real time Ethernet denominated several real time Ethernet protocols alone in 2012 implemented at the machines at the same time, alternatively or optionally.


The resulting expenses of conversion, engineering at al. represent a problem for these machine-builders that should be solved. These notes come from all sectors.

„Creating a higher compatibility of the individual systems among themselves in the future “

  • „Creating a higher compatibility of the individual systems among themselves in the future.“ (Rubber/plastics machines)

  • „The standardization is the most important at all for me as user. That there is only one standard for hard- and software.“ (Conveyor)

  • „The world does not need different real time Ethernet and Safety solutions. One at a time is enough.“ (Textile machines)

  • Above all that industry standards are maintained, that manufacturers communicate among themselves and that they do not their own thing. That’s what is making the most trouble for us.“ (Printing/paper handling machines)

  • „Currently we are still using three different Ethernet buses, however, standardization would be beautiful and desirable.“ (Machine tools)

  • „The Ethernet suitability of the components is important, especially for sensors, FC and safety engineering so that it is really compatible to 100%. We are getting also specifications from our customers other than Siemens components and have to match them. Many manufacturers maintain their components are compatible, however, during the start-up problems pop up. So our service engineers are forced to claim the support of these suppliers causing temporal delays.“ (Robotics and automation)

  • „A reduction of the different Ethernet standards is desired.“ (Printing/paper handling machines)

„Gateways need conversion of protocols“

  • Gateways need conversion of protocols because the machine has to communicate with machines of competitors with the end-user.“ (Rubber/plastics machines)

  • „We would like to have more components, bus couplers to other bus systems. The product variety leaves too many requests open. We are missing the coupling if the situation demands to communicate also with other bus systems - gateways are missing.“ (Packaging machines)

  • „We have various Ethernet connections at the machine. Standard is EtherCat and then additionally still Modbus, which is to be replaced, however, until 2015. Via Ethernet IP or ProfiNet the block machine communication is running and additionally we are using TCP/IP for OPC at all machines…The integration of the protocols that are important for us shuffles although the market requires such integration. This is because the suppliers are accustomed to live with their classical protocols. So the manufacturer of the frequency converters and servo drives has only now started resp. “it is in the making” (Rubber/plastics machines)

  • „We appeal to the address of the Ethernet suppliers to reduce the protocols and our request to provide the following issue: to ensure that we can implement in various master stations various Ethernet protocols and the master station is able to detect automatically, which protocol is driven regardless ProfiNet or EtherCat the master station would switch accordingly. So we could connect more devices.“ (Rubber/plastics machines)

„Main problem with Ethernet is that the Ethernet worlds of Rockwell and Siemens are not compatible“

  • „Main problem with Ethernet is that the Ethernet worlds of Rockwell and Siemens are not compatible. Here there are no gateways from these suppliers in order to ensure the compatibility; here you have to switch to third parties. However, the problem will arise that in this case the guarantee is no longer provided.  Again and again the fact occurs that we want to integrate a screen from Europe or a customer, who bought a few Siemens machines 5 years ago, prefers Rockwell today because it is cheaper. In these cases problems arise and none of these suppliers feel responsible.“ (Packaging machines)

  • To the address of the Ethernet suppliers one appeals the desire of adjustment of the protocols of Siemens and Allen Bradley in order to reach a standardization, so that the user is able to manage the respective protocols, to evaluate the extent of the employment and to deal easily with special options.“ (Conveyor)
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