Worldwide process automation market recovering

Oak Brook, IL—The worldwide process automation market is expected to grow at a 5.1% compounded an-nual growth rate (CAGR) during the next five years from nearly $50 billion in 2003 to more than $64 billion in 2008, according to a new ARC Advisory Group’s study, 'Total Automation Business for the Process Industries Worldwide Outlook.'


Dedham, MA— The worldwide process automation market is showing signs of recovering with an increase in demand for automation equipment, according to recent research by ARC Advisory Group . The global “Total Process Automation” market is expected to grow at a 5.1% compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) during the next five years from nearly $50 billion in 2003 to more than $64 billion in 2008, according to a new ARC’s study, 'Total Automation Business for the Process Industries Worldwide Outlook.'

While manufacturers are expected to remain cautious, ARC research found that plant equipment capital expenditures are projected to increase modestly in many industries. Global competition will compel most manufacturers to improve their plant machinery and processes in order to stay competitive. 'Fast growing regions, increasing service revenues, broader solutions, regulatory requirements, and expanding scope of applications for automation products due to their low cost and increasing performance will boost the market growth,' says Himanshu Shah, ARC senior analyst and the study's principal author.

New dynamics
The report adds that several new dynamics are shaping the global automation market. Manufacturing companies perceive the need to track and improve their plant and enterprise productivity and performance through real-time performance management (RPM). And, as RPM initiatives take hold, intelligent and fieldbus devices, along with control systems, will be more widely used.

ARC says the worldwide manufacturing base is shifting to low-cost regions as companies realize the competitive advantages that inexpensive labor and strong local demand can give to their operations. High-growth countries offer opportunities for using process automation equipment in manufacturing and in infrastructure industries. While the shift of manufacturing bases to low-cost regions is fueling growth in those regions, this increase comes at the expense of growth in developed regions. The study also found that proliferating commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) technology and other baseline technologies are both a blessing and a curse to process automation and its related industries.

Growth sectors
Most growth in today’s automation market is coming from services, and many of these services are directly related to the formation of collaborative partnerships between suppliers and users, according to ARC. Safety systems and software segments represent additional high growth sectors. Suppliers are also focusing on growth industries, such as pharmaceuticals, food and beverage, and water and wastewater.

Economic recovery will result in the reasonable revenue growth for industrial products and services sold to the process industries for all five regions of the world. China continues to be the primary growth driver for the market, but India is also providing increasingly bright prospects for suppliers as users there continue to build new infrastructure, expand their manufacturing base, and modernize the many existing plants that have less sophisticated or limited automation.

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Jim Montague, news editor

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