Real-time process optimization market expected to grow 10.3% annually

Dedham, MA—Shipments of real-time process optimization (RPO) solutions are expected to increase by 10.3% per year from more than $550 million worldwide in 2002 to more than $925 million by 2007, according to 'Real-time Process Optimization and Training Worldwide Outlook,' by ARC Advisory Group.


Dedham, MA— Shipments of real-time process optimization (RPO) and training software and services are expected to increase by 10.3% per year from more than $550 million worldwide in 2002 to more than $925 million by 2007, according to a newly revised study, 'Real-time Process Optimization and Training Worldwide Outlook,' released Oct. 6 by ARC Advisory Group .

The study reviews the significant changes taking place in this market as the use of process op-timization and training continues to evolve and support performance-driven manufacturing. The overall RPO marketplace consists of three different types of applications: Advanced Process Con-trol (APC), on-line optimization, and dynamic simulation for training.

'During the recent economic slowdown, the RPO market has been able to sustain its sales. This proves that implementation of RPO applications provides substantive financial returns to users. This market is forecasted to grow briskly as the economy improves,' says Tom Fiske, Ph.D., ARC's senior enterprise applications analyst and the study’s author. 'Currently, there are areas of solid growth within the RPO market, but also areas of contraction. This is creating a dynamic situation with some suppliers gaining ground while others are losing. The short-term will be a unique opportunity with risk. However, over the long-term, the traditional core markets will pro-vide ample growth opportunities fueled by companies' strategic initiatives to create performance-driven manufacturing environments.'

The study also found that the RPO market's growth has been decelerating for the past couple of years, due mainly to the recent economic slowdown, insignificant increases in capacity utilization, and a lack of investments in key user industry segments. However, leading economic indicators favor a recovery. After years of cost-cutting, companies are leaner, more profitable, and ready to invest in technologies that improve their bottom line.

ARC adds that one of the most critical challenges for manufacturers is to efficiently deploy assets and resources, so that their operations are more flexible, agile and responsive. This can help them capture market opportunities without compromising quality, safety or profitability.

The study reports that there is an enormous amount of unrealized potential in manufacturing assets. However, extracting additional value from these assets is a major challenge. Consequently, organizations are enthusiastically adopting strategic initiatives that focus on creating a performance-driven manufacturing environment. Tools, such as real-time performance management (RPM), are helping companies optimize their entire enterprise by improving assets and resource utilization, along with their decision-making process. The underlying philosophy of RPM is based on various approaches of improving performance by combining historical data with real-time monitoring and feedback of internal operations and market requirements.

In addition, modeling, simulation, advanced process control and optimization are positioned to play an integral role in RPM strategies. Also, many suppliers are offering new products with wider scopes and improved products that address many aspects of RPM. For instance, suppliers are developing model-based approaches to provide manufacturing decision-support and perform-ance monitoring of operations and equipment.

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Jim Montague, news editor

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