Machine safety market in Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand

Paul Boughton
While the demand for machine safety equipment is approaching maturity in Western countries, these products are witnessing speedy adoption in Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand owing to the increase in foreign direct investment (FDI) in industries in the region. These countries are experiencing comparatively higher growth and emerging as equally competitive markets in the global scenario. FDI focus is gravitating away from the primary sector to the manufacturing and tertiary sectors, thus encouraging more investments in automation and safety.
End users have started to consider machine safety as a time- and cost-saving investment. Stringent safety standards in the south-eastern countries are driving the machine safety market to a great extent.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, 'Southeast Asia and Australia and New Zealand Machine Safety Market,' finds that market earned revenues of over $93.9million in 2008 and estimates this to reach $ 228.8million by 2015.
Frost & Sullivan research associate Vandhana Venkatesan comments: "Legislations have moved from a prescriptive to a performance-based model, where manufacturers, users and employers are responsible for the safety of machinery under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Owing to the increasing awareness of machine safety and compliance requirements, products are being made to cater to specific end-user segments."
As the time span for obtaining regulatory approvals in the Southeast Asian countries is short, manufacturers are motivated to set up plants in this region. Besides, multinational companies operating in the market have to adhere to strict safety standards, raising the demand for machine safety products. Global competition is forcing manufacturers across industries to reduce downtime and increase uninterrupted production. Safety equipment prevents failures by 60-70 per cent, enabling a decrease in process downtime. Rising global demand for manufactured goods, strain on resources, and growing emphasis on efficiency are factors that impact market dynamics.
End users are apprehensive about using new technology in machine safety products, perceiving it as complex and difficult to incorporate at the workplace. In a market that is experiencing fast-paced expansion, customer knowledge about new products remains low, and it is challenging to convince them to accept new technologies. The lack of technical know-how also reins in the adoption of the equipment.
Nonetheless, the market is poised for a demand upswing and new opportunities await those operating in this arena. It is imperative for participants to constantly upgrade their products to align with evolving customer needs and focus efforts on improving end-user awareness and acceptance.
Venkatesan adds: "Global machine safety market participants face competition from small regional manufacturers in their respective countries. Currently, leading machine safety equipment vendors in this region are establishing resale offices rather than manufacturing units; this calls for an efficient system for managing channel partners and representatives in the supply chain."
Manufacturers competing in this domain must possess the requisite skills to enable higher revenues and the build-up of strong brand image. With a whole new range of controlled, reliable safety components entering the market, safety implementation that guarantees optimum machine utilisation is no longer constrained by the limitations that had earlier held back its implementation.
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