China looks to robots to improve automation ranking

China will increase the number of robots in its factories from 36 to 150 per 10,000 workers by 2020 in an effort to be ranked among the top 10 countries in automation.

The country is currently ranked 28 among the most automated nations. Labor shortages caused by an aging workforce and increasing wages are spurring the move to improve its ranking.

While foreign robot makers currently dominate the Chinese market, China hopes to change that and increase sales of domestically produced robots to 100,000 per year by 2020, a 49 percent change over 2015. Chinese models tend to be low- to mid-range industrial robots.

The International Federation of Robotics noted that Chinese robot market share has grown from 25 to 31 percent since 2013.

Automation to drive motor control center market growth

A Research and Markets report projects the motor control centers market will grow 5.3 percent by 2021 to reach $5.83 billion.

The change is expected to be propelled by increased industrial automation and power infrastructure upgrades. Major industries such as oil and gas, chemicals and petrochemicals, food and beverage, utilities, and metals and mining are increasingly using the technology.

Asia-Pacific countries is the largest market for the centers, with North America coming in at a close second. The Asia-Pacific market is projected to grow at a high rate, largely driven by fast growth in India and China.

Process measurement and automation bookings down in 2015

Measurement, Control and Automation Association (MCAA) members reported bookings in the process measurement and automation industry were down for the first time since 2009.

Since the recession in 2009, bookings have climbed 46.4 percent, but they declined 4.4 percent in 2015. MCAA members reported their actual bookings totaled $5.8 million in December 2015. Of companies that reported consistent numbers over the 10-year period, total bookings were down 2.3 percent over 2014.

Based on data from companies that have reported data since 2006, MCAA forecasts the industry will reach nearly $13 billion by 2020.

ISA forms committee on SCADA standards

The Standards & Practices (S&P) Board of the International Society of Automation (ISA) will launch a new committee called ISA 112, SCADA Systems. The group’s purpose is to improve reliability for “SCADA system design, installation, integration and operation of the infrastructure for pipelines, water and wastewater, power, oil and gas, and other industries” with standards and technical reports that outline best practices.

S&P board member Greg Lehmann will oversee the committee’s startup as managing director. He serves as process automation technical manager, engineering and O&M, oil and gas, at AECOM. The first meeting is scheduled for September 27.