World news: June 2012
Controller sales will continue to grow despite Eurozone crisis
Despite the financial crisis in Europe and instability in the Middle East, crucial factors will continue to drive the use of automation, fuelling the growth of the PLC and PAC (programmable automation controller) market, says a new report from the ARC Advisory Group.
“To offset rising energy costs and meet stricter environmental requirements, most industries want to steadily improve their productivity and efficiency in the area of energy consumption, in particular,” says ARC senior analyst and the report’s principal author, Himanshu Shah. “This will drive the overall market growth positively in 2012 and beyond.”
Demand for PLCs and PACs was strong during the first half of 2011, but the pace of growth slowed later in the year as a result of the escalating sovereign debt crisis in several industrialised countries, as well as concerns about some of the economies in southern Europe.
According to ARC, globalisation is driving fundamental changes in how industry leaders set their business objectives. These objectives – such as improving plant or machinery utilisation, yield, product quality, availability, safety and delivery – influence capital investments in automation. PLC and PAC suppliers are well positioned because their equipment is used widely across all industrial segments as companies attempt to raise productivity, cut product costs and plant operating expenses, and boost return on investment.
In both developed and emerging economies, infrastructure development continues, because a significant portion of government stimulus funding was directed at those industries. As a result, investments in automation equipment will continue in sectors such as power generation and water, ARC predicts. The food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, and consumer packaged goods industries, as well as the renewable energy sector, will also make investments in automation equipment.
The report discusses dynamics at play in North America, Europe, Asia, and Latin America. It says that automation sales in emerging markets grew strongly in 2011, and will continue to do so because the case for automation is compelling in those countries. They are continuing to invest in infrastructure and basic industries, such as cement and steel plants, airports and metro systems, power generation, and water. Oil, gas and mining investments also remain healthy and are critical to the economic development of many emerging markets.