Use of Safety Systems Grows Along With Industrial Automation

An increased use of industrial automation is bringing rise to more emphasis among end users on safety systems, making them a more critical part of the process industry, say analysts at Frost & Sullivan. Analyzing a range of sectors, they find that end users prefer integrated safety solutions to maintain continuous production, preventing breakdown of controls as well as processes.

The recent report, Strategic Analysis of the European Process Safety Market, predicts that Europe’s process safety market will grow from just over $459 million in 2010 to more than $632 million by 2016. “End users are facing intensifying pressure from regulatory bodies to comply with strict safety issues,” notes Katarzyna Owczarczyk, a research analyst with Frost & Sullivan. “Many end-user organizations have to meet safety regulations to provide safer working environments. The increased awareness of health and safety regulations is propelling the growth of the safety systems market.”

Safety system suppliers have introduced custom solutions that integrate plant controls and safety functions, thereby reducing human interference and greatly reducing the potential for some errors. There is also a move toward centralized control for monitoring plant assets across various regions. Implementation of separate layers of protection and provision of proper maintenance over a period of time will be the key to the emergence of new markets, Frost & Sullivan contends.

Safety system manufacturers have taken initiatives to promote the safety instrumented system (SIS) rather than conventional forms of safety, according to the report, but the higher cost remains a challenge. Benefits of a state-of-the-art SIS include lower cost of maintenance, which contributes to a lower cost of ownership and fewer plant shutdowns.

“All these benefits contribute to faster return on investment,” Owczarczyk says. “The initiatives taken by manufacturers are impacting the end-user acceptance of the SIS, which is clearly reflected by the double digit growth rates of the market.”

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