Strong economic growth in Asia and Eastern Europe significantly boosted the programmable logic controller (PLC) market in 2007, according to a study from ARC Advisory Group, which also indicates the worldwide market for PLCs is expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.5% over the next five years.
The PLC market reached nearly $9 billion in 2007 and is forecasted to grow to more than $12 billion in 2012, the study predicts. Emerging economies, such as those in the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) and Eastern Europe, helped propel the growth of the PLC market, says ARC Senior Analyst Himanshu Shah, principal author of Programmable Logic Controller Worldwide Outlook.
Globalization Fuels PLC Growth
Globalization is causing manufacturing companies to invest in creating new capacities in various industries such as chemical, cement, metals, pharmaceutical and textile, according to the study. PLCs, which are used across all major discrete industries, will continue to experience growth as robust, emerging economies create buoyant demand for increasing automation. While a cooling off period is expected, automation demand is expected to continue to grow during the studys forecast period.
PLCs Transform Into PACs
The market also is demanding the programmable automation controller (PAC), according to the study. While automation suppliers have extended PLC functions beyond just logic, the study predicts PAC market growth to be higher than the overall PLC market growth. ARC predicts that most of the small and large PLCs of today, as well as some of the micro PLCs, will morph into PACs.