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HMI market growth outpaces automation

01 September, 2004

The global market for HMI (human machine interface) software is growing faster than the industrial automation market as a whole, says a new report. The HMI market, which totalled nearly $439m last year, will exceed $559m by 2008, growing at a compounded annual rate of 5% over the next five years, predicts the ARC Advisory Group.

"HMI and related software has become a critical component in the infrastructure for successfully managing manufacturing operations," says ARC research director, Craig Resnick. "Manufacturers want to access and aggregate real-time production process information to drive factory visibility and intelligence. Enterprise connectivity translates into both manufacturing efficiency and a lower cost of goods sold."

Because of the strategic role played by HMI software, manufacturers are looking to HMI systems as the tool for plant-wide information collection and integration, ARC adds.

HMI software using flexible, multifunctional, interoperable platforms that provide peer-to-peer interfaces with other platforms, is driving factory visibility and intelligence as well as playing a major role in providing plantwide connectivity, it says. That is why HMI software is sometimes referred to as visualisation software.

Those HMI software suppliers who offer applications that address user requirements for exchanging and distributing factory-floor information should do well, ARC suggests.

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