The worldwide automation market for discrete industries experienced robust growth as the global economy enjoyed a strong year of expansion with heightened demand from various emerging markets, according to a study by the ARC Advisory Group (www.arcweb.com). The study predicts demand for automation technologies in discrete industries will grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 7.0 percent over the next five years, eclipsing the $38 billion mark in 2009.

The study says the rise in demand is due in part to increased expenditures for automation equipment to set up new plants in Asia and expand production capacities globally. Going forward, ARC expects a primary factor contributing to market growth will be continued infusion of capital for automation in many industries and regions driven by globalization.

China continues to be the primary country driving automation market growth, notes the study, while India is also providing increasingly bright prospects for automation. In most Asian countries, end-users continue to build new infrastructure, expand their manufacturing base, and modernize many existing plants, according to the study.

ARC says Eastern Europe is also experiencing a surge in automation investment with increased consumer demands due to rising real wages in a number of countries and a stabilizing labor market. Meanwhile, the study shows new activities in the OEM machine builders segment are pushing high growth in Latin America.

According to ARC, hardware-based products, such as PLCs and AC drives, will receive significant uptake during the forecast period. Production management software is also expected to generate significant demand due to their early product lifecycle phase, and market demand for enterprise integration and real-time information from plant equipment regarding material location and tracking remain strong.

— Flow Control Staff