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The global 2008 market for plant asset management (PAM) systems grew by an average of more than 13 per cent a year since 2006, eclipsing the forecast of nearly 11 per cent.

This equates to a USD400m (GBP270m) growth since 2006, according to a new ARC Advisory Group study, ‘Plant Asset Management Systems Worldwide Outlook’.

According to the study, the value proposition for PAM systems remains intact and – when combined with safety and other drivers associated with the decline in the workforce – PAM adoption will not fall-off nearly as much as other automation investments.

Wil Chin, research director at ARC and the principal author of the study, said: ‘Today’s PAM systems offer end users a solution appropriate for both good and bad times.

‘End users understand that PAM can help them to predicatively diagnose the health of critical assets, but don’t always make the connection to how this can help improve profitability when resources are scarce and demand for their products is declining.

‘Suppliers and end users need to educate themselves about the benefits that PAM systems offer to help them survive the economic contraction.’ Despite the ability to work as a niche solution for specific areas of the plant or be dedicated to certain asset classes, PAM systems require supplier domain and industry expertise to be successfully deployed.

PAM also continues to evolve.

Chin added: ‘Just when you thought you understood the capabilities, features and benefits of the technology, PAM has evolved into offerings that were seemingly impossible just a year or two ago.’ Examples include new systems that: are more intelligent with self-learning capabilities; deploy multiple diagnostic technologies for a greater number of assets; and employ enabling technologies for on-line communication and remote off-line analysis from anywhere in the world.

Many deployment alternatives are available, including local, plantwide and remote solutions.

In addition, PAM suppliers offer pre-installation, operational and optimisation services for newcomers and experienced users.

Chin added: ‘It is clear that the market will continue to evolve in the coming years and while change is good, innovation in the PAM system market can be hard to assimilate, especially given the changing economic landscape.’ Knowledge regarding PAM systems suppliers, available solutions and adoption and operational strategies is important for suppliers and end users.

To navigate the landscape, PAM suppliers need to fine-tune their solution offerings and delivery mechanisms; end users need to understand how to get the most out of their capital assets.

The ARC PAM Worldwide Outlook study combines this information in one place and is an excellent reference manual.

Arc Advisory Group

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