The global Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) and PLC-based Programmable Automation Controller (PAC) market declined significantly across all regions of the world in 2009, according to a report by ARC Advisory Group. The market declined in emerging economies as well, but the decline was much less severe in those regions due to substantial infrastructure stimulus funding, fewer financial institutional issues, and a more rapid turnaround in local consumer demand for goods and services. While ARC believes it is difficult to view any market growth through the lenses of the recent economic environment, there are many dynamics that will drive market growth over the next five-year forecast period.

Industries will continue to invest in automation, according to ARC. As a result, the worldwide market for PLCs and PLC-based PACs is expected to grow over the next five years. “Growing demands for energy savings, higher infrastructure productivity, increased production accuracy, better product quality, greater machine agility, tighter process control, and additional safety are some of the crucial factors that will fuel market growth,“ according to Senior Analyst Himanshu Shah, the principal author of ARC’s “Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) and PLC-based Programmable Automation Controller (PAC) Worldwide Outlook”.

New stimulus packages from various governments added more investments in the infrastructure industries, including new road construction, water & wastewater infrastructure, and electric power generating plants. Globalization has also created a large demand for modern infrastructure, especially in emerging economies. Airport facilities and new road construction are driving demand for products from the metals & mining, cement & glass, and oil & gas industries. Emerging economies know that their current infrastructure is a huge bottleneck for their continuing high economic growth. PLCs and PLC-based PACs will benefit in this environment as it is a key component for any infrastructure development and operation.

ARC says Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA), the largest PLC and PLC-based PAC market, was particularly hit the hardest compared to other world regions. Within EMEA, Germany suffered heavily during the 2009 economic turmoil, as its life blood export activities came to a screeching halt and the automotive industry basically stopped investing in capital equipment, notes ARC.

ARC says the North American market had started declining even before EMEA felt the pain. With the automotive market already depressed and the entire financial infrastructure facing cataclysm, the PLC and PLC-based PAC market declined at a rapid pace.

In Asia, Japan also faced a huge contraction. The China market experienced strong growth during the past few years, but future growth is expected to be a bit more modest, according to ARC. The electric power and pharmaceutical industries will invest heavily in PLCs and PLC-based PACs, but the export market will grow at a somewhat slower pace than in the past.

In addition to market analysis and forecasts, ARC”s study also covers the strategic issues that influence the market, today and in the future. In addition to the quantitative assessment of the PLC and PLC-based PAC market, this report provides an insightful analysis of the products and strategies of leading PLC and PLC-based PAC suppliers and explores issues that will impact this business in the future.

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