Safety component market growth driven by new standards in 2011

The emergence of new, and compulsory, safety standards EN ISO 13849-1 and -2, along with EN (IEC) 62061 caused some confusion (and panic) amongst machine builders and end users towards in 2011.


IHS has acquired IMS ResearchThe emergence of new, and compulsory, safety standards EN ISO 13849-1 and -2, along with EN (IEC) 62061 caused some confusion (and panic) amongst machine builders and end users towards in 2011. The “no-one likes change” saying was certainly applicable!

EN 954-1 ceased to be harmonised under the European machinery directive at the end of 2011, meaning that all equipment had to meet the new standards. Some end users and machine builders had embraced the change and had made the necessary changes to meet the new standards in plenty of time. Others categorically hadn’t!

Any machine sold into the EU has to meet the new standards, which means that machine builders in North America and Japan are also having to meet the criteria. Countries with developing manufacturing industries, including Brazil, China and India, are also beginning to adopt these new standards. This is partly due to multinational companies implementing common safety standards across global manufacturing sites.

The changes and succession of standards, which have already had a wide impact, certainly benefitted vendors of discrete machine safety components in 2011. There was evidence of strong investment in safety components, with many machine builders and end users re-evaluating the approach being taken towards machine safety. This was a golden opportunity to find ways of improving operator safety whilst simultaneously increasing productivity and efficiency. Leading vendors of safety components now offer assessment and validation services, which have become very important in a time of standards change. This knowledge and transition really presented a great opportunity for machine builders and end users alike to upgrade safety systems through the adoption of the latest components.

Growth in 2011 was mainly driven by the established discrete machine safety component markets in EMEA and the Americas. EMEA revenues were estimated to account for over half of the world total, having grown by 18% in 2011. Americas revenues grew 22% to just over $0.5 billion in 2011. In Asia Pacific, revenue growth was estimated at 11% in 2011, but this regional market is expected to have much stronger growth in the future.

As acceptance of international standards increases in Asia Pacific, safety component revenues will begin to grow more rapidly. In fact, Asia Pacific revenues are forecast to surpass those from the Americas in 2014 as the Chinese and the Indian markets become more established.

Going forward, EMEA-based machine builders and safety component vendors will drive propagation of standards into other regional markets. The standards that are harmonized under the EU machinery directive are constantly updated in order to keep pace with the latest technology advances and movements in the market. The process of updates is steady, but will continue to drive world discrete machine safety component revenues, which are projected to grow at just under 10% per year to 2016. 

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