Industrial controls and factory automation - The next level of automation redefining Industry 4.0

March 12, 2018 Khusro Khan, Xpondence Research

According to a recent market report, the global industrial controls and factory automation market was estimated at $109 billion USD in 2014 and is expected to experience steady growth over the next several years. Increasing demand of automation for streamlining the processes through real time gathering and control in oil and gas, chemical, automotive, and water treatment industries is expected to drive the market growth.

The key factors favoring the market includes extensive use of technology in the manufacturing process, need for supply chain, and mass production to cater the growing population. Furthermore, growing government initiatives for adoption of industrial automation in various industries is expected to fuel industry growth.

Automation in the industries monitors production, ensures fast production and product quality, reducing waste, minimizing the costs, and standardizing the manufacturing process by providing the flexible and reliable solutions in manufacturing plants. The emerging applications, which include electronic power distribution systems, heating ventilation air conditioning (HVAC), and human machine interfaces (HMIs), are projected to further spur the market growth.

Continuous advancements in the Industrial IoT and need for the connected supply chain and smart manufacturing processes are also expected to impact the market demand and growth in a positive manner.

Based on the product, the automation market is segmented into supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA), manufacturing execution system (MES), distributed control system (DCS), programmable logic controller (PLC), drives, relays, and sensors. The end users include process industries and discrete industries.

The MES is projected to hold the major share in the market by 2025 since it associates all the tasks of production management in a comprehensive software system. The process industry is also expected to acquire the major share owing to the rising cost pressure on manufacturers for optimizing the production process.

Initial high capital investments for installation and lack of expertise for handling the control and factory automation is anticipated to impede the industry growth. However, the introduction of cost-effective models for adopting industrial control and intuitive and user friendly models of automation systems are anticipated to create growth opportunities.

North America and Europe regions have the major share of the market. Increasing focus towards the renewable energy in the European countries is expected to build the demand for the automation solutions over the forecast period. The demand for the smart factories in manufacturing-based countries such as Germany and China has created a persistent demand to automate their existing manufacturing facilities. APAC region is also expected to emerge as a promising market owing to the increased industrialization in various countries such as Japan, China and India, and rising awareness for automation control with supportive government policies.

Key players in the industry include ABB Ltd, Emerson Electric, General Electric Co., Honeywell International, Schneider Electric, Ametek Inc., and Siemens Ag. Other players include Yokogawa Electric Corporation, Bosch Automation, Mitsubishi Corporation, National Instrument Corporation, Omron Corporation and Rockwell Automation.

The developers and vendors of ERP solutions are increasingly offering cloud-based solutions as automation solution for reduce the implementation cost and on-demand customization for meeting the specific requirements of various businesses.

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