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Automation suites drive the software market
Published:  01 August, 1999

Automation suites drive the software market

Suites of generic automation software are superseding custom-written and specific-purpose automation programs, according to a new analysis of the market for automation software. The study*, by Datamonitor, estimates that the global market is already worth $1.9bn (£1.2bn) and will reach $3.6bn (£2.25bn) by 2003.

Datamonitor suggests that PC-based process automation products, including software suites, now account for more than 40% of software sales in the three key automation markets - Germany, Japan and the US. Manufacturing automation software programs represent 26% of the market, batch and recipe systems make up 17%, while PC-based distributed control systems (DCS) account for 16% of sales.

Datamonitor says that there has been a significant shift in the market in recent years. As recently as 1995, the automation software market still included many high-value, custom-built resource management and manufacturing database projects. But the introduction of standard software packages at relatively low prices has led to a much wider use of automation software at much lower costs.

The software suites have also partly superseded the SCADA/HMI (supervisory control and data acquisition/human machine interface) products that were previously the largest category of automation software.

The European market for automation software has grown by an annual average of 21% over the past five years, according to Datamonitor, but will slow down to 9.8% over the coming four years to reach a value of $1.195bn (£747m) by 2003. Over this same period, the American market is predicted to grow almost twice as fast, at 18.4%, hitting $1.885bn (£1.18bn) by 2003.

Global Automation Software. Price $8,655. Also available as regional reports costing $3,395 each. Details from Datamonitor (www.datamonitor.com) on 0171 316 0001.

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