Mature market maintains demand

The European Scada market generated $766.5 million in revenues in 2000, an increase of 8.1% on the previous year, according to recent research by Frost & Sullivan.

Positive growth rates are also forecasted as development continues within all geographical regions and most product segments. Sales are expected to reach $1.16 billion by 2007.

Brian Flannery, the report’s author, explained: ‘Growth in the Scada market has seen a resurgence predominantly due to the recent interest of manufacturing execution systems (MES), that tie in e-manufacturing on the plant floor with e-business systems that automate financial aspects of the concern.

‘With end-user sectors continuing to invest heavily in new monitoring, visualisation and control equipment, the market is expected to experience a renewed period of expansion,’ Flannery added.

There are several key opportunities for growth. Increased demand for industrial automation from companies enticed by the benefits of web-enabled automation is fuelling the market. And this is a growing trend across Europe as a whole, and is driven by the increasingly international nature of business.

A trend within the Scada industry itself is for strategic mergers and acquisitions between companies, which tend to diminish the threat from competition and extend the product range without the need for research and development. Mergers also enlarge the company’s customer base and increase the total of qualified and experienced staff in the field.

The study also found the global trend towards process automation within the food and beverage industry is opening up new markets for both Scada software and related component products. Factories involved in food and drink production have previously not necessarily required the level of control offered by a Scada system.

But many industries now find the prospect of product quality control across multiple plants very attractive. Food and beverage has become a major sector for the European Scada supplier. Hardware is the largest segment of the market, and in 2000 held 74.1% of the total European revenues.

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