More safety PLCs to be used

High growth is expected for safety PLCs and safety bus/networks, according to a market study by Venture Development Corp.


High growth is expected for safety PLCs and safety bus/networks, according to a market study by Venture Development Corp . VDC says the most rapid growth for machine automatic safeguarding equipment in Europe and North America will be for programmable safety systems (safety PLCs). Safety PLC Shipments for machine automatic safeguarding applications in 2004 were $43.1 million for Europe and $9.3 million for North America. This is expected to increase in 2007 to $78.8 million for Europe and $20.7 million in North America. Compound annual growth rates are 22.3% for Europe and 30.6% for North America.

The overall machine automatic safeguarding equipment markets are forecast to grow at compound annual growth rates (CAGRs) of 7.4% for Europe, and 12.5% for North America 2004 to 2007. This difference is primarily due to the European market's level of maturity, as well as its further adoption of programmable safety systems for these applications.

Use is particularly attractive, VDC notes, when machines and controls become more complex, such as those requiring many emergency stops and/or safety gate switches with multiple actuators. Safety PLCs and buses/networks:

  • Allow greater integration of machine controls;

  • Provide better and easier diagnostics where intelligence is provided down to device levels;

  • Speed and ease maintenance;

  • Create greater flexibility in machine controls;

  • Reduce wiring and connections costs; and

  • Lower cost of design, installation, commissioning, and reconfiguration.

—Mark T. Hoske, editor-in-chief, Control Engineering,

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