The big three predictions for industrial automation and process control

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Industrial Automation

Frost & Sullivan has released its three big predictions for the industrial automation and process control market. It says that energy efficiency and sustainability, smart technologies and the influence from BRIC and other emerging economies will be the key topics in 2012 and beyond.

Based on a survey of several hundred companies conducted in December 2011, this research paper highlights areas of growth. “Energy efficiency, advanced technology and geo-economics will transform the face of industrial automation in the future. Along with sustainability, these factors are set to influence product design, project cost and service capabilities of industrial automation vendors in the next-generation enterprise,” says Muthukumar Viswanathan, director for automation and process control at Frost & Sullivan.

The key themes feature heavily in Frost & Sullivan’s industrial automation and process control research programme for 2012. A key driver for the research is the work Frost & Sullivan has been conducting around mega trends which are driving new and emerging market segments for key industry participants.

Sustainability, in terms of energy and resource efficiency, will be a key ingredient for the success of the global manufacturing industry. The growing focus on the implementation of energy efficient solutions in both process and discrete industries will also promote sustainable manufacturing. Energy efficiency concerns will dominate business in the electric motors market, with class IE3 energy efficiency – a stricter requirement compared to class IE2 energy efficiency – required in 2015. In addition, wastewater treatment and handling pumps will dominate traditional water pumps across the globe. All in all, the four major spheres of influence that will determine business models in future factories are integrated enterprise ecosystem, sustainability, life cycle assessment and eco-efficiency analysis.

Factories of the future will be driven by megatrends such as cloud computing, cyber security and mobile and wireless communication technologies.

The need for higher productivity and greater efficiency will drive organisations to implement greater interaction between the factory floor and enterprise across all end-users. This will be achieved also by leveraging on technology to provide automation solutions enabling end-users to gain a competitive edge in the global market. Asset management and flexible manufacturing will also drive factory integration with enterprise, and the will be high potential for automation and customised service solutions in industrial applications.

BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) and other emerging economies across the globe are likely to sustain high growth in industrial automation markets. The strongest growth is expected in emerging markets, especially in the Middle East, South East Asia, and Eastern Europe.

Opportunities connected with the modernisation of old infrastructure also exist in developed regions such as North America and Western Europe. In addition, flexible manufacturing will aid regional customisation by aligning the product portfolio to suit market demands.

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