Industria meccanicaAutomazioneEthernet / Bus di Campo > Market share of Ethernet at wood processing machines

The market shares of Ethernet at woodworking maschines from 2005 to 2012

In 2005 50% of the manufacturers of woodworking machines already used Ethernet - the same portion as in the total machinery industry. Since then Ethernet has been spreading continuously more strongly by around 4 to 6 percentage points in this sector than in the whole machinery industry. However, initially the two kinds of Ethernet, TCP/IP and real time Ethernet, showed a different devolopment. 

Use of real time Ethernet below average to 2010

However, real time Ethernet with wood processing machines has been developing more weakly by around 4 to 7 percentage points than in the machinery industry from 2005 to 2010.

Market shares of Ethernet and real time Ethernet at wood processing machines 2005 - 2012.
Source: Market surveys by Quest TechnoMarketing about the market shares of Ethernet and real time Ethernet at wood processing machines.

Among the reasons there are partly missing conditions with the end-users:

  • „One does not operate in easy plug and play manner (with Ethernet) but must presuppose extensive IT-know-how that is not available with the end-users in the woodworking industry. There in the maintenance usually less trained staff is at work instead of electronic engineers. If we want to use Ethernet in the field level, usual IT-components must be available that can be bought in every Media market and this world-wide. Today each manufacturer advertises with “manufacturer-neutral system”, in fact, one gets a proprietary system.“ (2005)


The price, higher with Ethernet, plays a role:

  • For us Ethernet is currently not economical enough. We would implement Ethernet already today as standard, if it was cost neutral. Therefore we operate differently as each processor also has a CAN interface while an Ethernet interface is expensive. It turns out that an Ethernet interface for one FC a surcharge from 80-150 euro is to be calculated and then it continues with sensors. We have 4 FC at the machine, which are in the control cabinet. Here it would be important that the motor drive control system could economically be connected with the line. An optical sensor, which costs 80 euro, increases in price by 100 euro to 180 euro, therefore I remain with I0-Link-sensors being able to read and answer the sensor nevertheless. Currently the large-scale use of Ethernet fails because of the price of the interface”. (2010)


Partly the total conversion from TCP/IP to real time Ethernet does not succeed rapidly enough.

  • „That one must still use two different systems with TCP/IP and ProfiNet is on the one hand caused by the fact that one cannot internally go along so fast to change the soft and hardware. On the other hand one wants to equip the current machines within the standard range with the current technology as long as it is good and still economical.“ (2008)

To 2012 more real time Ethernet planned than in the machinery industry

Obviously all these aspects indicate temporary adjustment processes. This is why for the year 2012 the machine-builders of wood processing machines are planning with 79% a portion of real time Ethernet, which noticeably exceeds the portion of 67% in the total machinery industry.


The basis of this optimistic view is suggested by the experiences of this manufacturer of wood processing machines:

  • „Dependant on the control system one uses 2 different Ethernet protocols on the field bus level, ProfiNet and EtherCat. As a consequence one has achieved faster production time, there are fewer downtimes at the machine and one has faster assembly times. The saving by lower wiring is between 7-10%.“ (120 wood processing machines) (2008)


The date mark the year of the execution of the Ethernet surveys by Quest TechnoMarketing.


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