Industrial automation equipment market set for growth

05 August 2014

A new report from IHS Technology looks at the industrial automation equipment (IAE) market. It predicts that growth of this market section will be aided by strengthening economies as well as technological innovations.

The report states that worldwide revenue in 2014 for the IAE market will reach a projected $185.3 billion, a 7% rise from $173 billion in 2013. These figures are much improved over the statistics for previous which saw revenue increases of 1.2% in 2012 and 3.4% in 2013. IHS findings state that this expansion trend is set to continue after this year, with industry takings forecast to hit $225.0 billion by 2017. IHS predicts that the second largest segment in 2014 will be automation equipment with 30% of total IAE market revenue, after motors and motor controls with 40%. This is said to be, partly, due to the fact that the automation equipment sector will be impacted substantially this year by technological innovations. 

IHS has identified three specific market developments as having potential substantial impact on the IAE market in the future. 

The first is the growing trend for technological convergence that could see a productivity-driven market become more reliant on the control of digital information. The modern urge to coalesce a multitude of mediums could soon see innovative new machines make an appearance in the IAE market.  

The second is the impact that 3D printing is undoubtedly having on the manufacturing market. With the cost of 3D printers coming down, the technology is on the cusp of joining the manufacturing mainstream due to its ability to create intricate designs that moulding or forging simply aren't be able to produce. Using additive manufacturing, specialist parts can now be created for a fraction of the cost they could have been in the past. 

The final variable that IHS identifies as creating technological innovation is the result of a combination of an ageing, skilled engineering workforce and low rates of replacement. IHS believes this will pave the way for increasing levels of automation and semi-autonomous robots, ultimately leading to fully automated factories becoming commonplace. 

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