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The market shares of Ethernet at printing/paperhandling machines 2005 - 2012

The use of Ethernet at printing and paper handling  machines shows three characteristics compared with the total machinery industry.

  • There it is a bit less distributed than on the average for the entire machinery industry. The diagram shows values that are for the machinery industry slightly higher with 50% (2005), 67% (2008), 80% (2010) and 89% (2012) apart from the year 2005.
  • Real time Ethernet is above average frequently used at printing and paper handling machines. That applies for the whole period concerned. As the diagram shows, 75% of the printing and paper machines’ manufacturers use RT-Ethernet while this figure for the total machinery industry stands with 67% noticeably lower.
  • Finally only TCP/IP is below average frequently used at printing and paper handling machines. The reference values of the machinery industry to the values of printing and paper handling machines in the diagram are by 8 to 16 percentage points higher with the only exception in 2005.


So the sector of printing and paper handling machines is a real time Ethernet intensive sector.

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

Reasons for slightly below average use of Ethernet or TCP/IP

CAN is partly regarded more favourably for application and cost structure than Ethernet.

  • „We have been already successfully using CAN BUS for many years in different structure levels. The decision was made at that time due to cost reasons and sufficient performance”.


Partly one uses classical field buses and limits the use of Ethernet to the monitoring via TCP/IP.

  • „The control is to take place still by means of field bus. One uses Ethernet only for interlinking to super ordinate machines, to permit data transfer to pre-stage printing machine as e.g. for the pressure preliminary stage and for server tying.“
  • „One already uses Ethernet, however, not for applications of RT-Ethernet yet. The main advantage in using Ethernet is the simple wiring and the very quick data transfer.“

RT- Ethernet for higher performance

  • „One will change to Ethernet in the future, because one will require higher data rates due to more bus participants and because a larger data volume will be required due to distributed intelligences. Thereby the topic safety for machine and the operator is important. So far one has two redundant systems. One will have the advantage of using only one system; therefore real time is important. Furthermore that should lead to lower costs at the end as well.“
  • „The main advantage one would like to benefit from RT-Ethernet is the lower variety of the devices and the larger performance. For the distributed entries one will have faster data transfers.“

Demanded improvements for the use of Ethernet

The machine-builders know best, where the shoe pinches with the use of Ethernet.


Simpler assigment of addresses are demanded:

  • „One is less content with the IP address assignment. Here one is searching the web for simpler methods to assign the IP address. It is important to make it possible for every electrician at the machine to handle IP addresses via switches.“


Again and again is demanded that just ONE Ethernet protocol can be used:

  • „As a user one wishes one single system in order to not being constantly faced with the question, which protocol is to implement, EtherCat, ProfiNet or Sercos III.“
  • „Standardization of the different systems, definition of standards, simple gateways between TCP- Profibus- IO-Link etc., industrial suited version.“


Simpler diagnosis and settings are desired:

  • „By now one is content with the use, however, expecting further improvements in regard to the diagnostic ability and the simpler configuration. These expected improvements refer to all protocols in use.


Finally Ethernet should become even faster:

  • Ethernet should become faster, 100 Mbit is too little, it should be at least 300 - 400 Mbit, and later, if the basics are fulfilled, also 1 Gbit.“

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