EU rules open opportunities for control system vendors


European Union (EU) legislation is the most important driver in the automation and control solutions market for the European water and waste water sector. At the same time, technological advances and the widening provision of open systems will help overcome challenges such as ensuring highly compatible automation solutions, establishing strong systems-integrator networks and providing PC-based systems, according to a report by market research firm, Frost & Sullivan . The report , entitled, Automation and Control Solution in the European Water and Waste Water Sector M04B-10 , finds that the automation and control solutions market in the European water and wastewater sector earned revenues of $540.4 million in 2006, and estimates this will reach $780.9 million in 2013.

“Stringent EU directives aimed at improving water and waste water infrastructure are the primary driver for the growth of the market across Europe,” notes Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Karthikeyan Balasubramaniyam. “Investments towards achieving this goal will support the installation of new water and waste water treatment plants in Eastern Europe and in the Iberian region where the infrastructure is poor, and will provide fresh impetus to the automation and control solutions market,” he says.

Many parts of Eastern Europe and Iberia suffer from poor infrastructure with respect to water distribution and waste water treatment. Accession countries (those currently in the process of joining the EU) will face the maximum impact of EU regulation owing to the timeframe within which these directives need to be implemented. Countries in Eastern Europe and Iberia, as well as in parts of Italy and Benelux are already beginning to make large-scale investments in water treatment plants, with a resulting increase in the uptake of automation and control solutions.

A key challenge for manufacturers is to provide systems that seamlessly integrate with existing plant infrastructure, as plant personnel are keen to retain these legacy investments’ value. This phenomenon explains the need to provide automation and control systems that are compatible with, and easy to integrate into, current systems.

“End-users are conservative about retrofitting existing systems in order to incorporate the latest automation and control solutions,” observes Balasubramaniyam. “Issues related to integration as well as refit costs are the two major factors underlying end-user reluctance and are either stopping or delaying the implementation of newer automation and control solutions.”
To overcome this hurdle, manufacturers must provide automation systems that are compatible with existing plant installations. Through the efficient use of exploitation of existing instrumentation, manufacturers should continue to benefit from historical capital and resource expenditures. They also need to reassure customers about their products’ compatibility and urge them to adopt new systems.

The report is part of Frost & Sullivan’s Industrial Automation & Process Control Subscription, which also includes research in the following markets:

  • automation and control solutions in the European food and beverage sector;

  • European robotics for materials handling markets; and

  • European intelligent pump systems market.

All research included in subscriptions provides detailed market opportunities and industry trends that have been evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.

An e-mail brochure, which provides manufacturers, end users and other industry participants an overview of the latest analysis of the automation and control solution in the European water and waste water sector, is available by e-mailing your name, company name, title, telephone number, fax number, and e-mail address.

For related reading in process control, see also a Control Engineering tutorial:
“Understanding Pressure Instrumentation”
Control Engineering Europe offers more EU-related news.

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Edited by C.G. Masi, senior editor,

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