European chemical sector on verge of new investment cycle


Demand for automation and control solutions in the European chemical sector is being hampered by chemical production moving overseas and the absence of new chemical plants in the western countries of the European Union, according to a recent assessment by Frost & Sullivan . Solution suppliers without an installed base of existing products, says F&S, risk being marginalized by the lack of “open” opportunities.

On the other hand, the global consulting firm sees chemical manufacturers investing in retrofits and upgraded systems to improve production efficiency and counter competition from low-cost suppliers. Clear findings among end-users, says the report, show chemical firms favoring existing suppliers for upgrades, particularly in key DCS product sectors where relationships are well entrenched.

Chemical firms are particularly reticent about investing in supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) technologies, the research indicates, and suppliers are faced with convincing them of increased functionality and reliability of SCADA, particularly in batch-oriented chemical manufacturing. The importance of branding and reputation are paramount, explains Danny Solomon, F&S research manager. “New firms seeking to penetrate these well-established supply structures will have to provide reliable migration from long-established systems,” he notes, a condition that favors larger suppliers.

“After two years of low and stable interest rates, there are definite signs of an upturn in investment from 2005 in the chemical sector, in spite of uncertainty surrounding the EU constitution and the Euro,” says Solomon. F&S puts revenue from sales of automation and control solutions to the chemical sector at $1.3 billion in 2004 and expects it to touch $1.7 billion by 2011 as the continued threat of low-price competition stifles attempts to drive like-for-like revenue gains.

—Jeanine Katzel, senior editor, Control Engineering,

No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Sensor-to-cloud interoperability; PID and digital control efficiency; Alarm management system design; Automotive industry advances
Make Big Data and Industrial Internet of Things work for you, 2017 Engineers' Choice Finalists, Avoid control design pitfalls, Managing IIoT processes
Engineering Leaders Under 40; System integration improving packaging operation; Process sensing; PID velocity; Cybersecurity and functional safety
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

SCADA at the junction, Managing risk through maintenance, Moving at the speed of data
Flexible offshore fire protection; Big Data's impact on operations; Bridging the skills gap; Identifying security risks
The digital oilfield: Utilizing Big Data can yield big savings; Virtualization a real solution; Tracking SIS performance
click me