The worldwide market for automation products and services for process industries, worth more than $44 billion in 2001, is expected to grow at the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of just over 5 per cent over the next five years, reaching close to $57 billion in 2006, according to a new ARC Advisory Group study. The food and beverage market is one area of particular growth.
"Despite recent economic turmoil, the worldwide market for automation products and services seems to be making a turnaround in the first half of 2002. While new construction remains depressed, industries such as refining and petrochemicals are trying to drive more out of existing plant assets by purchasing advanced forms of automation. Meanwhile, hybrid industries such as pharmaceuticals and food and beverage continue to be areas of healthy growth," said ARC research director Larry O'Brien, the principal author of the ARC report.
Without question, growth in the worldwide process automation market will be driven by software and services, O'Brien said. Traditional hardware-based markets such as PLCs, valves, analytical, flow and transmitters will all experience below average growth to 2006, while total process automation software as an aggregate has the highest growth potential of all process automation product areas.
Movements to integrate enterprises, including legacy systems, and improve planning processes based on Internet technologies create more complex systems for manufacturers, the report claimed.
"The service segment of process automation has become crucial as users decrease their internal engineering resources to increase profitability and focus on core competencies. Users often depend on outsource services for assistance in the implementation and support of ever more complex automation technologies," the report said.