Electrochemical systems build quality into the process

Electrochemical systems can play a vital role in improving productivity by building product quality into the manufacturing process, according to a recent ARC Advisory Group study.


The PES market is expected to grow from $601.7 million in 2003 to more than $782.6 million by 2008, according to a recent survey by the ARC Advisory Group. (Graph and data courtesy of ARC Advisory Group.)

Electrochemical systems can play a vital role in improving productivity by building product quality into the manufacturing process, according to a recent ARC Advisory Group study. The research shows the worldwide market for Process Electrochemical Systems (PES) growing at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.4% over the next five years. The market, at $601.7 million in 2003, is expected to increase to more than $782.6 million by 2008, the survey reports . Regulatory compliance and advancements in sensor technology are cited as two areas having significant impact on market activity.

The shift from a measurement focus to a knowledge focus is a contributing factor to the growth of this field as process automation evolves from a product-driven to a knowledge-driven market, the report says. "The benefits of traditional automation will remain; however, the use of process knowledge to enhance plant performance is becoming more important," said Paula Hollywood, ARC senior analyst. "Manufacturers forced to do more with less will install PES in increasing numbers for improved control of the process."

According to the study, delineation among suppliers has developed along the lines of their installed base: industrial suppliers and municipal water treatment suppliers. While the municipal market is cost-driven, the industrial market is more regulatory driven, ARC claims. Manufacturers are less sensitive to price as the cost of non-compliance grows more costly than the equipment to ensure compliance. Highly regulated industries are expected to experience above average growth rates.

The most rapid technological advances in PES, the report goes on, are taking place at the sensor level. Recent sensor innovations include improved glass preparations designed to extend upper end temperature and pressure limits. New O-ring designs protect sensors from contamination and extend product life. Efforts are also focusing on increasing response time.
Click here to read more on the study .

—Jeanine Katzel, senior editor, Control Engineering, jkatzel@reedbusiness.com

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