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Fieldbus costs still deter users

01 June, 2002

Potential users still see the high costs of installing fieldbus systems as a deterrent to wider adoption of the technology, according to a new study of the European market. Another significant barrier is the lack of a single fieldbus standard, and the incompatibility between competing fieldbus systems.

Despite this, the analyst Frost & Sullivan predicts that the European fieldbus market will grow from $170m last year to $420m by 2008, driven by the reduced costs of wiring, engineering and installation work.

F&S urges suppliers to do more to raise end-user awareness of the cost and productivity benefits of installing fieldbus systems. It adds that customer and service support are the mot important criteria for customers thinking of investing in fieldbus technology.

The study says that Profibus is the clear market leader in Europe at present, but predicts that its share will fall over the coming years as competing systems gain a stronger foothold. Frost & Sullivan expects Foundation Fieldbus to be the main beneficiary. Until now FF has been used mainly in the US market, but a recent upsurge in interest in Europe signals "a rosy future," says F&S.

Systems such as Ethernet and safety buses represented a minuscule portion of fieldbus sales in 2001 but are predicted to account for more significant shares by 2006.

According to the study, Siemens leads the European fieldbus market with ABB in second place. Other companies with more than 5% market shares include Endress+Hauser, Emerson and Rockwell Automation.

* Analysis of the European Fieldbus Systems Market (Report B054). Price €6,000




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