A new study by Frost & Sullivan finds the global industrial computers market earned revenues of $2134.4 million in 2011 and estimates revenues to reach $3,216.6 million in 2015.
“Currently, competition has intensified across all industries, leading companies to increase their process efficiency, quality and productivity, and thus raising the need for industrial computers,” said Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Katarzyna Owczarczyk, in a prepared statement. “In each industry, automation systems have progressed beyond programmable logic controllers (PLCs) and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems to include robotics or machine vision systems.”
While competition is intensifying at a global level, and computer technology is striving forward at an increasing rate, most companies prefer to make immediate and maximum profits by using the latest technologies available, according to the study, titled Analysis of the Global Industrial Computers Market. This is creating a need to expedite the decision-making process for investments into the industrial computers market, as companies aim to refresh and update their processes with modern technology to remain competitive.
“Key factors to establishing successful automation systems include faster and more reliable networking solutions such as industrial computers which, when combined with advanced process control software, function as automation supervisors with the ability to connect external machines and plants,” Owczarczyk said. “Furthermore, recent increases in computational and storage capability and the integration of several tasks on one platform have allowed for the creation of computing platforms capable of recording and analyzing terabytes of raw data, resulting in increased process efficiency, quality and productivity.”
The Frost & Sullivan report shows the industrial computers market has been thriving in the Far East, especially in South Korea, Taiwan, and China. These countries have been producing industrial computers and exporting them at extremely low prices. As their quality matches the expectations of the Western market, the continued increase in competition from the Far East has put pressure on the established European market players, Frost & Sullivan says.
“With many end-users being price-sensitive and importing inexpensive products from Asian countries such as China or Taiwan, it is expected that these countries will penetrate the market as low-cost options, especially among the small and medium-sized companies, which cannot afford high price, best quality products,” Owczarczyk said.
European and American industrial computers suppliers are therefore forced to keep their prices down in order to compete, which may be difficult to achieve due to higher production costs. This in turn puts pressure on industrial computers manufacturers to drive down prices, as customers will be seeking to reduce their own costs. Frost & Sullivan says the impact of this restraint remains strong in the short- and medium-terms, as many end-users—especially in the Asian and Eastern European countries—will prefer low-cost industrial computers.
“Once end-users recognize the need of having highly effective machines, the adoption is expected to increase,” Owczarczyk said.