Open-system HMI market expected to triple by 2008

Wellingborough, U.K.—The worldwide market for open-system human-machine interfaces (HMIs) is projected to more than triple, and grow at a 25.4% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from an estimated $48.8 million in 2003 to approximately $151.3 million in 2008, according to a recent study by IMS Research.


Wellingborough, U.K.— The worldwide market for open-system human-machine interfaces (HMIs) will more than triple over the next five years, according to a recent study by IMS Research . The market is projected to grow at a 25.4% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from an estimated $48.8 million in 2003 to approximately $151.3 million in 2008.

Open HMIs use an open operating system, typically Windows CE. IMS reports that firms offering these products have increased recently, which has expanded available products and marketing that is educating users and raising awareness of open HMIs. These factors account for a large proportion of the forecast growth, adds IMS. Open HMIs fill a gap in the market between traditional proprietary HMI products and completely open, industrial panel PCs. Open HMIs typically offer increased functionality and flexibility over traditional HMIs at a lower cost than industrial PCs.

Open HMIs enable users to configure the product to a particular application by accessing the operating system, and then scaling it to meet their needs. These products also offer some advanced functions over traditional HMI products with improved data handling and standard interfaces and communications.

“Most manufacturers believe that open HMIs will allow new applications to be targeted, although they will also‘cannibalise’ some current HMI sales,” says Tim Dawson, senior analyst in IMS’ Automation Research Group and the report’s author. “In fact, certain specialist HMI manufacturers believe that open HMIs will form as much as half of their unit shipments in five yearstime, almost completely replacing sales of their larger screen products in particular.”

Dawson adds that, “Although the future looks bright, users are required to invest time and effort in configuring the product. Many will continue to prefer traditional HMIs with an embedded operating system that provides a more plug-and-play type solution. It is this that limits the future potential for open HMIs.”

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Jim Montague, news editor

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