Demand for valves to soar as political and economic conditions stabilise in emerging economies!

08/09/2014
Emerging Regions Prove Increasingly Profitable for the Industrial Valves and Actuators Market

The increase in oil exploration activities, investments in new refineries, and modernisation of existing facilities will spur the uptake of valves and actuators, particularly in emerging markets such as Africa and Latin America. Demand from the offshore oil and gas industry in Latin America, in particular, is expected to fuel the valves and actuators market. In addition to the demand from the emerging economies, control valve manufacturers will find growth opportunities in North America and Europe due to end-user preference for greater process automation.

1024px-ValveNew analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Strategic Analysis of the Global Industrial Valves and Actuators Market, finds that the market earned revenues of €14.86 billion (US$19.51 billion) in 2013 and estimates this to reach €19.76 billion (US$25.95 billion) in 2018. The study covers the oil and gas, power generation, chemical processing, mining and metallurgy, and water and wastewater end-user industries.

“The water and wastewater industry will offer significant growth potential for valve and actuator manufacturers in Asia-Pacific, Africa and Latin America,” said Frost & Sullivan Industrial Automation and Process Control Research Analyst Niranjan Paul. “Due to the burgeoning population and rapid urbanisation in these regions, water scarcity and the need to provide purified and portable water for human consumption have led to the setting up of desalination plants, boosting the use of valves and actuators.”

Despite this demand, valve and actuator manufacturers are likely to witness a loss of potential revenues due to the political situation in countries such as Iran, Sudan and Syria. In addition, the global financial downturn has compelled end users to defer projects and focus on the maintenance of existing equipment rather than the purchase of new valves and actuators.

The adoption of aggressive pricing strategies in Asia-Pacific too will reduce the sale of new valves. Vendors must enhance their aftermarket capability to sustain profits as well as meet wide-ranging consumer requirements.

“Valve and actuator manufacturers need to invest in R&D to deliver a comprehensive solution complete with wireless monitoring and advanced valve-condition monitoring capabilities,” recommended Paul. “With subsea exploration in Europe and Latin America projected to rise, widening product portfolios to include double-expanding gate valves will help vendors appeal to a larger consumer base in this high-potential market.”


Automation market survey!

12/06/2014

Possibly one of the hardest sectors in which to get a complete picture is Automation in any country. The reason is the complexity of the industries and processes which include automation as an important part. Indeed some surveys we have seen seem not evan to have a basic understanding of the discipline. EU_IR_4321

Here in Ireland the baton has been taken up by Simotech a company which does have the requisite extensive experience in all aspects of Automation and Manufacturing Instrument Systems.  It is a comprehensive and well designed questionnaire specifically aimed at automation professionals, either European Union passport holders or those who are licensed to work within the EU. Pat Desmond, the MD at Simotech, who has himself many years experience at the coal face of automation in Europe and elsewhere, explains, “The last decade has seen major changes in the Automation industry with significant peaks and slumps in the market. General indications are that the industry is experiencing growth again over the past 18 months.”

The why!

The survey objective is to benchmark the state of the Automation industry in Ireland. It plans to be the most comprehensive insight into the views of employers, employees and suppliers. It is hoped to help all in the automation community of practice, employers, employees, and contractors, to understand the current automation marketplace for engineers. It will help to understand career expectations, salary expectations, locations, technical capabilities, and the career paths into automation and migration into more senior positions.

• Engineers: It will help them gauge where they are with their career expectations, salary benchmarking against their peers, business growth forecasts, the most popular locations for engineers and much more.

• Employers: It will help them understand what motivates the automation engineering community, remuneration benchmarks, how to attract the best engineers into the best positions. It will also assess the sentiment for growth across various industry sectors, etc.

The survey should take no more than six minutes and is simple to complete with no open ended written responses required. Obviously the success of this survey will be dependent on getting a wide spectrum of engineers and employers across all industry sectors, so participants are encourged to share thesurvey link with their colleagues and employees. Automation Survey!“Your privacy is important to us. We guarantee that no personal or systems information will be recorded as part of this survey,” says Pat Desmond.

Reward

As a Token of our appreciation participants have the option to enter into a draw for an Apple iPad mini on completion of the survey. To enter the draw, simply forward the entry form at the end of the survey and we will send you on the complimentary report when published and enter you into thedraw. We respect corporate giving policies so we will also make a donation to Unicef in lieu of those who do not wish to enter the draw.


End-user expectations and requirements of services across various product markets

05/11/2013
Industrial services – a new frontier for business model innovation and profitability

The poor scope for technological innovation coupled with growing market maturity, has motivated major industrial product suppliers to concentrate efforts on achieving growth through alternative channels. In this context, the potential for industrial services attains center stage, both from the standpoint of industrial vendors interested in market expansion and end-users aiming to maximise profitability.

The market has grown significantly in the last decade. In order to better understand the emerging services market, Frost & Sullivan has mapped the emerging segment into the larger framework of Industry 4.0.  “The idea of Industry 4.0 assisted us in identifying a few key criteria like Big Data, the Internet of Things and the Internet of Services, as functional pillars catalysing the transformation of the current organisational architecture”, notes Frost & Sullivan Practice Director Industrial Automation & Process Control and Measurement & Instrumentation Muthukumar Viswanathan.

According to recent analysis by Frost & Sullivan, the overall estimates for service revenues accrued from automation products like DCS, PLC and SCADA. reached nearly $15 billion in 2012. The conspicuous part of this large service base is the increasing demand for new value-added services that goes beyond traditional repair and maintenance.

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Global Pump Figures!

For example analysis on global pump market finds that the market earned revenues of €9.38  billion ($12.65b) in 2011 and estimates this to reach €13 billion ($17.55b) by 2016 with a CAGR of 6.8%. Within this segment, value-added services, such as condition monitoring, predictive maintenance, and advanced diagnostics, are rapidly gaining acceptance, and are anticipated to account for a significant portion of the growing demand for advanced pump monitoring solutions. Additionally, stringent regulations pertaining to pump efficiency and emission control, particularly in Europe and North America, is also likely to result in increased demand for superior value-added services.

From a demand perspective, end-users are increasingly looking at maintenance and plant service as a means for maximising profitability. From a market standpoint, we can safely surmise that the demand for services has improved quite significantly over the last decade. There is also a growing acknowledgement from industrial product suppliers and the end-user community about the dawn of services as the next big frontier for business model innovation and profitability.

“In order to understand and evaluate the nature of this new service frontier, Frost & Sullivan will be initiating a strategic in-depth analysis, focussing on end-user expectations and requirements of services across various product markets”, notes Mr. Viswanathan. “The study will aim to assist industrial product suppliers with designing their service mix and aligning their product strategies to better serve the needs of the end-user in a rapidly-changing industrial landscape”.


The trends that are driving electric drives

19/08/2013
What does the future hold for electric drives in the industrial automation sector? Currently there are three trends which are dictating development – speed and ease of specification, simplified control and maintenance, and machinery safety. Here, Nigel Dawson, Festo GB’s Product Manager for Electric Drives, looks at these trends.

Today’s consumers expect their products, however sophisticated, to be intuitive, readily available, and quick and safe to use. The iPad is a great example; as soon as you take it out of the box, you know how to charge it, switch it on and hey presto you’re up and running in no time at all. What’s more, if you’re a technological Luddite or need help setting it up, there’s simple online support or you can call the hotline for step-by-step assistance.

The future of electric drives: they should be easy to size, easy to order and easy to assmeble – just like the "Optimised Motion Series”

The future of electric drives: they should be easy to size, easy to order and easy to assmeble – just like the “Optimised Motion Series”

This expectation has spread into the industrial world: design engineers and machine builders expect Festo to have products that are easy to specify, for the control technology to be simple, for the maintenance to be straightforward and for the products to adhere to the latest safety legislation.

Trend One
So how can vendors help to reduce the time taken to dimension and select the product? Just as the iPad is quick and easy to select, buy and get up and running, so should electric drives be. Festo has responded to these demands with the introduction of its ‘Optimised Motion Series’, which is a range of electric drives based on those easily accessible and easy to use iPad principles.

The intuitive online configuration tool assists in the specification and selection process and for easier sizing a range of pre-defined and tested combinations with all of the necessary data is available. For easier ordering, a complete drive solution – comprising mechanical system, motor and motor controller – is available with just a single part number. And, for easier assembly, the motor and mechanical system is integrated.

Web brower technology will simplify control technology and handling of electric drives in the future!

Web brower technology will simplify control technology and handling of electric drives in the future!

Second trend
The second trend is for simplified control and maintenance and web browser technology is at work here; it allows the user to source electric drives that are easy to commission, programme and maintain. The demand from the end user is that electric drives have to be intuitive and they don’t want to have to buy specialist programming cables and software.

A standard Ethernet CAT5 cable, which is relatively cheap and readily available, will connect straight into the controller from the laptop and, using a web browser, type in the IP address of the controller, which has its own web page on-board, to commission it (as you would when setting up your own home router). This web-based configuration makes control simple too as it is based on the basic principles of solenoid valve technology. The diagnostic function, accessed via a standard web browser, supports simplified maintenance.

Trend Three
The final trend which is influencing the sector is machinery safety. But, the issue here is that the machinery safety industry is focused on electrically and electronically monitored systems that end at the motor. The question is who is monitoring the mechanics? Here, Festo have developed a unique overall safety concept integrating clamping modules and linear feedback systems onto its popular EGC axis. These mechanical measures, combined with safety functions in the drives and motors and specific electric drive safety controllers allow customers to create fully certified systems for category 4  / PLe safety from a single supplier with full documentation and circuit diagrams.

By understanding these three trends, Festo is opening up new possibilities in industrial automation, making it easier for machine builders and design engineers alike to specify, control and maintain electric drives while ensuring they comply with the latest safety legislation.  Ultimately, machine builders can improve motion control and profit margins, as well as make significant cost savings on integration.


Effect of wireless networking standards and MIMO technology on RF tests

25/04/2013
Modular instrumentation set to displace traditional counterparts in a growing number of applications

The deployment of progressively more complex telecommunication techniques, including 802.11ac, together with the adoption of advanced multiple-input, multiple-output (MIMO) technologies will fuel the global radio frequency (RF) testing market.

wanNew analysis from Frost & Sullivan , Global RF Testing Market: Increasing Complexity of Products Translate into Growth Opportunities for Test Vendors, finds that the market earned revenues of €2.31 billion ($3.02b) in 2011 and estimates this to reach €3.21 billion ($4.20b) in 2016. The research covers traditional general purpose (GP) instrumentation, modular GP instrumentation, semiconductor automatic test equipment (ATE), and rental GP segments.

802.11ac is one of the key drivers for the RF test equipment market. With the 802.11ac standard, faster speed and higher data handling capacity through wider channels than the existing systems are achieved.

“The existing 802.11 protocol devices have managed to satisfy network requirements over the past decade,” notes Frost & Sullivan’s Measurement & Instrumentation Industry Analyst Prathima Bommakanti. “However, with the increasing consumption of digital data, mobile data traffic needs to be handled with more powerful wireless network infrastructure that would offer more capacity, reliability, and speed.”

Research indicates that with the 802.11ac standard, the usage of 8×8 MIMO to support 160 MHz bandwidth and that with LTE advanced, the usage of 8X8 MIMO to support 100 MHZ channel bandwidth, is becoming popular. The widening adoption of MIMO will, therefore, also boost market prospects.

While the overall market is poised to expand, modular RF test equipment is expected to compete with traditional GP and semiconductor ATE in a growing number of applications. This is due to its ease-of-use, scalability and ability to support lower test costs.

As competition intensifies, scalability is seen as one of the key parameters in selecting or short listing a test vendor. In addition, brand name plays an important role in winning RF test equipment deals. These factors pose a challenge to smaller vendors in an already competitive market.

“To leverage the market’s growth potential, companies need to develop a strong focus on customer relationship management, price-performance and product innovation,” concluded Bommakanti.

• See Webopedia’s Wireless Networking Standards Chart.


Ethernet test market! #TandM

04/02/2013
40/100 GbE test equipment to make strongest gains and register triple digit growth rates

An increase in datacentre activities, rapid growth of the 40/100 GbE market, mobile backhaul applications, and infrastructure development by end users to accommodate gigabit Ethernet are driving the global Ethernet test equipment market.

ethernetconnNew analysis from Frost & Sullivan,  High Growth Testing Opportunity: Global Ethernet Test Equipment Market, finds that the market earned revenues of $822.5 million in 2011 and estimates this to reach €905.2m ($1225.7 m) in 2016. The 1 GbE, 10 GbE and 40/100 GbE test equipment segments are expected to grow at single, double and triple digit rates, respectively.

Modern datacentre technologies including virtualisation, converged datacentre networks and cloud computing are changing the designs of traditional datacentres. These newer designs require higher bandwidth; 40/100 GbE equipment is better suited to the core and aggregation layers.

“With constantly evolving processor performance, it is anticipated that the 40/100 GbE interfaces will become the default requirement,” noted Frost & Sullivan Measurement & Instrumentation Industry Analyst Prathima Bommakanti. “This has led to a corresponding demand for 40/100 GbE test equipment.”

End-user demand for high density test equipment is considered both a driver and a challenge for Ethernet test equipment vendors. While it offers immense growth opportunities, test vendors are constantly being challenged to keep their products aligned with the market’s emerging functional test requirements – such as Layer4 wire-speed TCP/IP testing, Y.1564, 1588v2/SYNC, and IPv6 – even while continuing to provide value for money.

As technology improves and port count increases, end users are becoming accustomed to purchasing test solutions with greater capabilities across a range of technologies. Equipment prices have steadily fallen over the last few years even as end users have been pressured to create efficiencies and reduce unnecessary expenditure.

“The increasing complexity of protocols and the concurrent development of different standards call for Ethernet test equipment with greater testing capabilities,” remarked Bommakanti. “However, as protocols become more difficult to comply with, it will be a greater challenge for the test equipment to provide the desired results.”

Market prospects will be boosted by continued efforts by manufacturers to overcome the glitches inherent in advanced technologies and to offer competitive products. Rapidly evolving end-user technologies will motivate test vendors to focus on R&D and product introductions that best address customer needs.


Advanced metering market

24/01/2013
Advanced Metering Infrastructure Market to Grow at Fast Rate, States Frost & Sullivan. Revenues expected to triple – Massive opportunities for communication systems and network, meter data management (MDM), customer and programme data management

SmartMetersLegislation and standardisation are set to catalyse the advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) market in Europe. Market participants are working towards standardisation and fulfilling regulatory requirements for the development of smart meters and AMI to begin mass rollouts. In Ireland we are faced with metering of domestic water supply in the short term future for instance.

New analysis from Frost & SullivanEuropean Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) Market, finds that the AMI revenue in Europe is expected to grow from €85m ($1.13b) in 2011 to €2.8b ($3.72b) in 2016 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 26.9%. The research covers smart meters, installation, communication systems and network, meter data management (MDM) and customer and programme data management.

“Emerging smart grid technologies, which support enhanced energy management, will boost the installation of AMI in Europe,” noted Frost & Sullivan Energy & Power Supplies Research Analyst Neha Vikash. “The market is expected to witness higher growth not only in smart meters and the installation segments, but also in communications networks, MDM, customer and programme data management segments as well.” Most companies in the AMI space are not just the hardware (meter) providers. They combine them with important services and appropriate functionalities in communication infrastructure and data management. These are the key technologies for the deployment of innovative solutions. Installation of hardware does not generate a constant stream of revenue.

Despite its obvious benefits, smart meter implementation reveals regional disparities. Market growth has been faster in Western and Northern Europe. The lack of regulatory drive and utility implementations has affected installation rates in Central and Eastern Europe. It is expected that the smart metering activity in the CEE region will follow the Western European knowledge wave and experience. “It is also expected that once large scale roll out activity begins in Central and Eastern Europe, the pace of implementation will be faster compared to that of Western Europe,” concluded Vikash. “Regulatory approval, along with increased competition, aging infrastructure, and new technology will continue to drive investments in advanced metering and intelligent grid technologies.”

Nevertheless, EU member states that lack the regulatory push for deployment will experience large-scale implementation after 2015, as they have to comply with the EU’s Third Energy Directive, or pay a high penalty fee.

“AMI is an important step towards achieving the EU 20-20-20 goal which states that by 2020, 80 per cent of households must have smart meters and complete rollout achieved by 2022,” elaborated Vikash. “Government mandates will, therefore, be a key driver for AMI deployment.”

In addition to legislation, the lack of communication standards and security issues also play a major role in determining market prospects. In fact, data security is an issue among all member states, but it is of higher importance in the UK, Germany and the Netherlands. This has resulted in a delay in smart meter roll out plans by utilities.

“Standardisation is likely to affect future smart meter sales, development and innovation,” concluded Vikash. “Meters complying with security requirements as per the standardisation mandate as well as satisfying regional legislative security requirements are likely to encourage customers to adopt smart meters.”


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