Fieldbus Survey Shows Continued User Adoption

Nuremberg ? 23.11.05: Results from the second 'Fieldbus Survey' conducted by the ARC Advisory Board, an international market research firm, confirm a positive trend in the process industry and forecast high growth rates for fieldbus. More and more users are currently planning new projects with state-of-the-art fieldbus technology.


The ARC 'Fieldbus Survey' 2005 is based on approx. 230 responses worldwide. The goal of the market survey was to examine general trends in process automation and to define changes since the year 2003.


Applications that only integrate process instruments are more and more the exception. In contrast, hybrid applications dominate process automation, even when only a few drives, circuit breakers or simple digital I/O devices have to be connected. PROFIBUS International (PI) claims that PROFIBUS is the only solution with which both discrete field devices and process instruments can be attached. As a result, the total cost of ownership is reduced while at the same time significantly reducing the time for commissioning and for service activities. PI Chairman Edgar Küster explains, 'The survey very clearly confirms the importance of solutions for hybrid applications in regards to process automation. The question of the relevance of integrating process and device fieldbusses received the highest agreement among all criteria mentioned with 88%. In contrast, with increasing experience with 'control in the field" the benefit of this function is in doubt.'


More and more users trust in the use of fieldbusses, even with mission critical applications. In 2003, only 4% of those surveyed used fieldbusses with mission critical applications. By 2005, that number has increased to 28%.


And, in terms of return on investment, more and more users find that using fieldbusses is profitable. Such experiences have increased considerably for users in the past two years. Approx. 27% of users see a return on investment within the first six months, and additional 18% within the next six months. With largely unchanged procurement costs, users see substantial cost reductions when compared to traditional instrumentation in terms of installation and lifecycle costs. It is no wonder that 61% of those surveyed are also directly planning additional fieldbus systems ? encouraging information for providers of fieldbus technology.


The market survey from ARC is evidence of increasing trust in fieldbus technology and the mounting number of installed fieldbus systems. 'Fieldbusses have demonstrated their maturity and proven performance,' explains Edgar Küster. 'It's now essential to also expand such experiences into process automation.'

By: John