Operator interface terminals, monitor markets expand

The North American market for industrial monitors and operator interface terminals, $606 million in 1998, should reach over $946 million in 2003, for a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.3%, according to a new study by Venture Development Corp. (VDC, Natick, Mass.) in cooperation with Control Engineering.

07/01/1999


The North American market for industrial monitors and operator interface terminals, $606 million in 1998, should reach over $946 million in 2003, for a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.3%, according to a new study by Venture Development Corp. (VDC, Natick, Mass.) in cooperation with Control Engineering . "North American Markets and User Needs for Operator Interfaces and Monitors in Discrete and Process Manufacturing Applications, 3rd Edition" assesses markets for industrial alphanumeric and graphic monitors, and alphanumeric, graphic, and PC-based operator interface terminals used in discrete and process manufacturing.

The graphic monitor market, more than $135 million in 1998, is expected to increase at a CAGR of 5.7% to nearly $179 million in 2003. However, the market for alphanumeric monitors is expected to grow at an anemic 0.7% CAGR, from over $15 million in 1998 to about $16 million in 2003.

Because demand for graphic monitors partially follows the desktop PC market, demand for software applications that are visual, intuitive, easy-to-use and configure is snowballing as users grow accustomed to Microsoft Windows-based interfaces. The report also projects growth in the graphic monitor market to be driven by declining prices, range of available technologies, CRT versus flat-panel display choices, expanding display sizes, improved resolution, and growing availability of touchscreens. Growth in the alphanumeric monitor market is expected to be slower as more users choose graphic monitors to handle increasing information content requirements.

The market for graphic OI terminals was $206 million in 1998. It is expected to increase at a 10.2% CAGR to $334 million in 2003. Reasons for this rapid growth include increasing demand for graphics, broader functionality, lower prices, ongoing replacement of electromechanical control panels, and a growing trend toward more "open" communication network capabilities.

Projected to outpace these product categories, the PC-based OI terminal market earned $198 million for 1998 and is expected to increase at a 12.6% CAGR to more than $358 million in 2003. Growth will be driven by the continuing adoption of PC-based technologies in factories, increasing microprocessor power and speed, and added sophistication of newer operating systems and software.

Brightness, color, angles

VDC's report adds that improved brightness, color, and viewing angles will drive the market toward flat-panel displays. There is also growing demand for larger displays among both CRTs and flat panels.

Demand for graphic monitors with touchscreens is also expected to be robust as users find they're easier to apply, take up less space, and provide "intuitive" pictorial interface capability. Already widely used, graphic and PC-based OI terminals with touchscreens are also projected to capture more market share.

Ethernet is expected to become the most used communication network with alphanumeric and graphic interface terminals. It's already the most popular network for PC-based terminals.

Windows NT, Windows CE, and Microsoft's anticipated next-generation MS operating system (OS) are expected to be the systems most used by units purchased in 2003.

For information about ordering VDC's "North American Markets and User Needs for Operator Interfaces and Monitors in Discrete and Process Manufacturing Applications," visit www.controleng.com/freeinfo .

Forecasts of North American Monitor and Operator Interface Terminal Markets
(Dollars in millions)

Base year 1998 1999 2000 Forecast 2001 2002 2003 CAGR
Alphanumeric monitors15.215.315.515.615.715.80.7%
Graphic monitors135.4143.5152.1161.3170.1178.85.7%
Alphanumeric OI terminals51.853.455.056.357.759.22.7%
Graphic OI terminals205.6225.1246.5272.4301.0334.110.2%
PC-based OI terminals198.0221.8249.5280.7317.2358.412.6%
Total606.059.1718.6786.3861.7946.39.3%
Source: Control Engineering with data from Venture Development Corp.


Author Information
J. Timothy Shea, project manager/industry analyst, Venture Development Corp., a marketing research firm specializing in electronic technology.




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