Control and automation should set sights on Eastern Europe

21 December 2009

The control and automation market should look to opportunities in Eastern Europe as the Western European market reaches maturity, according to recent analysis by Frost and Sullivan. The report says European Union accession has generated investments in the new Eastern European member states, since the end users are obliged to accomplish new European standards.

The analysis found that the market earned revenues of $597.8 million (€416.8 million) in 2008, and estimates this to reach $844.9 million in 2015. The end-user segments covered in this research service are power, chemicals, oil and gas, food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, pulp and paper, water and wastewater and others such as metals and mining, cement, glass and textiles.

“The foremost priority of end users has been to invest in the development of their existing automation and control solutions,” said Frost & Sullivan research analyst Katarzyna Owczarczyk. “This is to fulfil the new European standards imposed on the region since accession to the EU.”

Several end-user companies need to adhere to regulations set by organisations such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction of chemicals (REACH), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA). ACS manufacturers are making considerable effort to adhere to these regulations and serve their respective end-user industries. European Union and other individual bodies are initiating regional projects in various sectors to help participants specify and design the right structure of production under the laws and limitations imposed.

The most significant challenge in the Eastern European ACSs market is the need to provide solutions with greater compatibility. In the former communist countries in this region, almost all the privatised old factories have outdated technology that needs to be modernised.

“The primary demand of Eastern European end users is to refurbish existing ACS with the latest technology,” explains Owczarczyk. “Compatibility concerns have been the main reason for delayed adoption of automation.”

Accordingly, manufacturers must provide automation systems that are compatible with the existing plant installations. This would instil confidence among the end users, and urge them to invest in automation.

Designing compatible automation solutions is lucrative for end users as it enables the use of a wider range of products from different producers, fulfilling all the needs of customers. Standardisation also contributes to time and cost savings related to service and employee training.

“Manufacturers should/will continue to benefit from historical capital and resource expenditures through the efficient use of existing instrumentation,” concludes Owczarczyk. “ACS manufacturers should aim to provide systems with open architecture and a high level of compatibility to instil confidence among end users, motivating them to invest in automation.”

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