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Standards changes helped to boost machine safety sales by 17.5% in 2011

16 July, 2012

The end of EN 954-1 as a harmonised standard under the European Machinery Directive helped to boost global sales of machine safety components by 17.5% in 2011, taking  revenues above the $2bn mark. A new report from IMS Research predicts that sales will continue to expand by about 10% a year in the period to 2016.

The machine safety market, which was worth $1.8 billion in 2010, underwent a significant change at the end of 2011 as EN 954-1 ceased to be harmonised. The standard’s successors, EN ISO 13849-1 and -2, along with EN (IEC) 62061, use different systems of assessment and therefore many machines needed to be re-certified to comply. A flurry of media coverage during 2011 and a rise in supplier promotion resulted in a significant boost to component revenues.
Mark Watson, IMS’ automation research manager, expects the change of standards to have a continuing impact. “Any machinery sold into the EU has to meet the new standards, which means that machine-builders in North America, Western Europe and Japan are upgrading in order to sell into the market,” he points out.

“Countries with developing manufacturing industries, including Brazil, China and India, are also beginning to adopt these new standards,” he adds. “This is partly due to multinational companies implementing common safety standards across global manufacturing sites.”
The market growth during 2011 was driven mainly by the established machine safety markets in Europe and the Americas. In the EMEA region, revenues grew by an estimated 18% during 2011 to account for more than half of the global total. In the Americas, revenues expanded by 22% during 2011 to reach just over $500m.

The EMEA region is currently the heart of the discrete machine safety component market and supplier base. Machine-builders and safety component vendors in this region will drive the propagation of standards into other markets.

In the Asia-Pacific region, discrete machine safety is not fully established, but revenue grew by an estimated 11% in 2011. The region is expected to have much stronger growth rates in the future.
“As the acceptance of international standards increases in Asia-Pacific, safety component revenues will begin to grow more rapidly,” Watson predicts. “In fact, Asia-Pacific revenues are forecast to surpass those from the Americas in 2014 as the Chinese and the Indian markets become more established.”

The standards that are harmonised under the EU Machinery Directive are constantly being updated to keep pace with the advances in technology and movements in the market. IMS predicts that the steady process of updates will help to drive global revenues world from discrete machine safety components by about 10% per year in the period to 2016.

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