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Global PLC sales head for $10bn

15 November, 2006

Despite the sophisticated control functions now being incorporated into a variety of automation equipment, global sales of dedicated programmable controllers will continue to "grow robustly," a new report predicts. The study, by the ARC Advisory Group, forecasts that the worldwide PLC market will grow at a CAGR of 6.1% over the coming five years, taking it from $7.5bn last year to more than $10bn by 2010.

ARC attributes much of the expected growth to the strength of the global economy which is driving a demand for automation equipment in a range of industries. "It is time to make investments in capital equipment for automation or otherwise lose out on potential opportunities from a reviving global economy," suggests the report`s principal author, senior ARC analyst, Himanshu Shah.

PLC applications are being driven by factors such as energy efficiency, condition monitoring, regulatory requirements, safety and real-time optimisation, says ARC. It adds that one of the most important trends in the market is the increasing integration of technologies such as HMIs, motion controls, and PLCs. This integration is helping users to cut their costs.

Although "programmable automation controllers", based on open standards, are finding increasing uses, especially in high-end applications, ARC does not expect PACs to replace or supersede traditional PLCs. Rather, they will expand the role of the PLC, it predicts.

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