Worldwide HMI market set to reach US$590 million

Friday, 28 February, 2003

The Human-Machine Interface (HMI) market, which totalled $US414 million in 2001, will hit nearly $US590 million in 2006, outperforming the industrial automation market and growing at a Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 7.3 per cent over the next five years, according to a recent ARC Advisory Group study.

Senior ARC analyst Dick Slansky, the principal author of ARC's "Worldwide HMI Market Study" said, "Significant contributing factors and emerging technologies will influence and contribute to growth in the HMI market. These factors include the adoption of Internet-based technology for distributed infrastructure, collaborative manufacturing architectures that will define the exchange of information from the embedded device level to enterprise tier applications, wireless HMI products, the incorporation of HMI software into integrated automation solutions, and the need for interoperability across all systems and applications."

According to ARC, today's HMI applications are taking on more of the attributes of the traditional SCADA applications, where performance indicators such as KPIs, real-time analysis, and applications for manufacturing intelligence are becoming more important to optimise production processes and to hone productivity and efficiency.

Furthermore, the study says that in today's manufacturing environment, production process information is in demand more than ever. Real-time information is required to power supply chain execution systems, quality assurance, maintenance, and scheduling activities.

Across industry, there is a significant shift from client-server architectures that were usually confined to controls, HMI, and supervisory domains, to the next generation of device-centric architecture that can provide much more accurate real-time snapshots of the production process.

Additionally, ARC says that in the evolving Internet/Intranet-based factory environment, libraries of web services will provide the infrastructure for the exchange and transfer of plant floor information.

The increase in overall market share for Europe can be attributed to several factors, according to the report.

The reports concludes that traditionally, the European economy has lagged behind North American economic trends, thereby causing manufacturing to remain sustainable at higher levels before the global downturn caught up with them.

Also, European automation and HMI suppliers do more business with OEMs that support functional application sectors such as packaging, material handling, machine tools and the like, the report notes.

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