Five Year Market Analysis and Forecast through 2016
Safety is becoming the mantra on a global scale and across a broader range of industries. The automotive industry, which historically dominated the market for safeguarding solutions (particularly with the high concentration of robotic lines, stamping, metal fabrication, and metal working operations), has also been followed by several other industries that recognized the productivity benefits achievable via safeguarding solutions.
Since the deepest global downturn in recent history beginning in 2008, a tremendous rebound has occurred in the market. The worldwide market for machine safeguarding solutions in 2011 signals that the recovery is well underway and is expected to continue according a new ARC Advisory Group study.
Food & beverage, textile, aerospace, and furniture and wood products will continue to create the additional pull needed to drive the growth in this market. Furthermore, the general view is that the North American and Asian markets are 10 years behind the European market in widespread adoption of rigorous safeguarding requirements. Since the European manufacturers have demonstrated clearly that safeguarding and productivity improvements go hand-in-hand, the demand for machine safeguarding is increasing at a higher rate in all regions outside of Europe. Furthermore, safety and energy efficiency are driving demand in this market as older equipment is being replaced with the latest intelligent technology
Certification Drives Demand
The long-anticipated requirement in Europe to certify a safeguarding solution based on the EN ISO 13849 standard has finally been instituted. The reprieve in 2009 that was allotted to machines builders delivering product into the European community is now over and machine builders have been using the performance level metrics in place of the prescriptive methods once in place. The machine safeguarding suppliers are now positioned with certified product lines for the performance levels designated in EN ISO 13849 and have launched software evaluation tools to ease the transition for the machine builder. “The consequence of these new safeguarding standards has increased the demand for services and product that allow machine builders to ship equipment,” according to Research Director Sal Spada, the principal author of ARC Advisory Group’s “Machine Safeguarding Solutions Worldwide Outlook”.
Business Risk Drives Safeguarding Solutions Scale
It has become a matter of economics in the machine building community. Machine builders do not want to develop a safety solution twice or increase their cost during the design process. Proactive machine builders are also concerned with their risk so they are now adding safety to mitigate this risk. Thus, while the EN ISO 13849 is primarily a European standard, machine builders in virtually all regions of the world are gravitating toward this standard. Even in China where local standards are appearing, what is occurring is that these standards are linked or referencing the European standards.