Safety systems growth expected despite process automation slowdown

The worldwide market for safety systems is expected to grow more than 4.5% per year from $675 million in 2001 to $847.4 million in 2006, according to a new study, "Safety and Critical Control System Worldwide Outlook—Market Analysis and Forecast Through 2006," by ARC Advisory Group.


The worldwide market for safety systems is expected to grow more than 4.5% per year from $675 million in 2001 to $847.4 million in 2006, according to a new study, "Safety and Critical Control System Worldwide Outlook—Market Analysis and Forecast Through 2006," by ARC Advisory Group.

Asish Ghosh, ARC's vp and the study's author, anticipates continued growth in safety systems despite a general slowdown in the process automation market. "An increased awareness of safety standards and increased environmental concerns are fueling the growth of the safety system market," he says.

The report adds that growth in safety systems is also being fueled by other factors, such as increasing litigation costs related to accidents, as well as increasing pressure from insurance companies. Regulations allowing programmable safety systems to be used in the nuclear power industry by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) are also expected to increase the use of safety systems.

More pressing is the impact of agencies and organizations on safety system functions and standards, even though many manufacturers in petroleum, chemical, and other industries have been using these systems for many years. In the U.S., for example, plants with on-site storage of toxic, reactive, flammable or explosive chemicals are learning that they need safety systems as they perform process hazard analyses required by OSHA and quantitative risk analysis called for by the EPA. European countries already have similar regulatory laws in place.

"In North America and Western Europe, where there will be little investment in large grassroots manufacturing facilities in the next five years, the need for new safety systems in existing manufacturing facilities and the updating of the installed systems will keep the market alive," says Mr. Ghosh. Even though there is slow economic recovery in Southeast Asia and stagnation in Japan, he adds that significant investments are being made in China, India and Latin American countries in large power plants, oil fields and refining facilities, which are further fueling demand for safety systems.

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Worldwide Market for Safety Systems
(in millions of $)



Source: Control Engineering with data from ARC Advisory Group (Dedham, Mass.),











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