Industrial Networks for Automation, Control and Monitoring purposes are populated by a wide range of communication protocols, each designed to satisfy application-specific requirements and constraints and often limited in terms of compatibility to equipment from specific vendors. While once fieldbuses were pretty much the only technology in use for digital communications in industrial facilities, nowadays we are assisting to a growing adoption of Industrial Ethernet protocols and—in a much lower measure—of wireless technologies.
With this in mind, in this report ABI Research analyzes the current adoption trends and the state-of-the-art of industrial communication protocols. After a brief historical perspective on the subject, the report investigates strengths and weaknesses of Industrial Ethernet as well as wireless technologies over conventional fieldbuses, pointing out where and in which measure it is more likely to see an increased use of these technologies. The core of the report is dedicated to a technological analysis of the most popular open industrial communication protocols, using—when possible—the OSI stack model as well as their physical characteristics and communication properties as a measure of comparison. The report is concluded by ABI Research’s forecast on the expected adoption rate of the analyzed protocols up to 2020.