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Users vote Beijer to be Europe`s top HMI supplier
Published:  01 December, 2005

HMI users and specifiers across Europe have voted the Swedish supplier, Beijer Electronics to be Europe`s top HMI hardware vendor. A poll conducted by the market researcher IMS Research in collaboration with Thomas Industrial Media placed Pro-face in second position, followed by Omron.

IMS emailed invitations to take part in the on-line survey to some 50,000 automation users, and received 380 acceptable replies, containing more than 750 supplier ratings. These covered aspects such as ease of use, reliability, technical support, and the use of advanced technology. Curiously, the largest number of responses came from France (41.3%), with Germany accounting for 16.7% of the responses, and the UK and Ireland for 10.8%.

The users said that reliability is the most important factor when choosing an HMI supplier, followed by ease of use. These factors were used to weight the scores for the various suppliers to reach the overall results. Beijer was rated the top supplier is terms of reliability, ease of use and technical support, while Pro-face also scored well on reliability and ease-of-use.

Beijer, which has been supplying HMI products for more than 20 years, reckons that it is one of the top six HMI suppliers in Europe and the US. At the recent SPS/IPC/Drives show in Germany, it launched several new models (some of which are shown above). As well as selling HMIs under its own name, Beijer brand-labels products for other suppliers including ABB and Mitsubishi. It recently signed an agreement to supply ABB with a new generation of operator terminals.

In the last financial year, Beijer`s HMI sales rose by 6.8% to reach £12.5m. In March 2005, it bought the Taiwanese HMI manufacturer, Hitech Electronics. At the recent SPS/IPC/Drives show, it launched several new ranges.

According to IMS, the global HMI market is worth around €1.16bn, with Europe accounting for about a third of this and being the fastest-expanding market, with a growth rate of around 6.5%. It adds that users are migrating from simple text displays to high-end graphics, with sales of touchscreen HMIs growing by 9.6% in Europe.

IMS says that the top ten HMI suppliers have captured around 75% of the global market, with Siemens, Schneider and Pro-face (a Schneider-owned company) accounting for about half of the European market.

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