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Security is the most important factor for customers in China when choosing an industrial network, according to the results of a recent user survey by IMS Research.

Market analyst Alex Hong said: ‘In high-risk industries, such as chemicals or gas stations, the security of network connection is always the highest priority.

‘Any small delay or mishandling of data can potentially lead to disastrous accidents, apart from increasing maintenance costs,’ added Hong.

According to the survey, the next most important factors are the speed of the network and good diagnostics.

This is mainly a result of demand from manufacturers to increase production efficiency and reduce the frequency of maintenance.

The survey also revealed that a large proportion of people will design, install and maintain industrial networks themselves rather than choose an external company for support.

This is particularly true for network maintenance.

Nearly three quarters of respondents chose this option because it reduces the time lost to network breakdown.

With regard to network type, there is no obvious current transition from Fieldbus to Ethernet.

Although the use of Ethernet is expected to grow faster than that of Fieldbus, the survey indicated that it will not replace it within the next three years.

This is largely because the Fieldbus market in China is very mature and stable.

Existing Fieldbus technology can meet the needs of users, so that, in the near term, Ethernet will supplement, rather than replace, it.

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