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HMI market undergoes `tremendous shifts`

01 October, 2001

HMI market undergoes `tremendous shifts`

Major PLC vendors are gaining larger shares of the HMI (human-machine interface) software market at the expense of independent software suppliers, a new report* suggests.

The study, from the ARC Advisory Group, reports that end-users, with diminishing resources to do their own start-up and implementation, are increasingly demanding that suppliers accept responsibility for an entire installation and its maintenance.

"This is causing tremendous shifts in HMI software supplier market share, with the major PLC vendors making serious gains at the expense both of the large and mid-size independent HMI software suppliers," says the study`s author, Craig Resnick.

While regional, niche-focused suppliers will not disappear completely, he adds, global suppliers will benefit most from the growing market for HMI and related software. The biggest growth in demand will be for HMI add-on functions such as PC-based control.

ARC predicts that users will rely increasingly on HMI software to provide a standard interface for various types of hardware including PLCs, I/O, sensors and controllers.

Modern PCs and operating systems can handle applications that were previously considered too complex, says ARC. More automation and control applications can now be handled by one system, bridging the gap between control systems and other levels of an enterprise.

* Human machine interface software worldwide outlook, market analysis and forecast through 2005.

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