Demand for Web-based HMIs rises as costs fall


Palo Alto, CA —Demand for Web-based human machine interface (HMI) systems is increasing as prices in the market have fallen steadily, recent research from Frost & Sullivan (F&S) indicates. The study, “World Human Machine Interface Products and Software Markets,” reveals the market earned $1.85 billion in 2004 and is expected to reach $2.75 billion by 2011.


World HMI market in 2004 generated revenues of $1.85 billion and is expected to grow at 5.8% to $ 2.75 billion by 2011. Data and image courtesy of Frost & Sullivan.

Factors beyond the price drop driving world market growth include greater compliance with environmental regulations; increased investments in end-user sectors such as water and wastewater and food and beverage; 21 CFR Part 11 government regulatory requirements, especially in the pharmaceuticals industry; and an improving economic environment overall. Deregulation of the power market is also expected to influence growth.

“There is an increase in demand for Web-based HMIs,” notes F&S research analyst Udayachandra A.S., “which offers reduced operating costs. On the other hand, it has created higher concerns over company security. Possibility of people accessing vital information and deliberately causing disruption and acts of terrorism raises the need to address the issue of security.” This can be done through infrastructure and access protection measures, so that users can invest in highly developed HMI solutions, the report adds.

Price decreases in HMI markets around the world, says the report, are the result of lower quality, lower priced imports entering the market and of maturing market conditions. Thin profit margins have made it difficult for manufacturers to allocate funds for research and development and will likely hamper new product development in HMI technology in the long term, the study notes.

“End-user concerns of slow or flat growth in future years has resulted in limited capital improvements,” says Udayachandra. “Major end-users are still wary about the future of the economy and large companies are not investing in upgrades or plant expansion.”

Udayachandra recommends that suppliers offer broader product ranges and more integrated solutions in their products to add functionality. “Such HMI products are likely to see higher sales,” the researcher concludes.

—Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Jeanine Katzel, senior editor,

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