PLCs: moderate growth for shaky European market

Paul Boughton
The European programmable logic controllers (PLC) market witnessed a heavy decline in growth in 2009, owing to the recession of 2008. However, it made a strong recovery in 2010 with all major market participants in Europe experiencing high growth.

The sovereign debt crisis afflicting the Eurozone will determine the future prospects of the European PLC market. In the meantime, however, the market is likely to grow steadily over the forecast period aided by the emergence of major Eastern European economies as manufacturing hubs for the rest of Europe.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, European Programmable Logic Controllers Market, finds that the market earned revenues of €1563.7 million in 2010 and is estimated to reach €2597.3 million in 2017.

“The global economic crisis and the sovereign debt crisis of Europe have created an atmosphere of uncertainty, with fewer projects expected in the next 2 years,” cautions Frost & Sullivan Senior Research Analyst Karthik Sundaram. “This is poised to have a significant impact on the general industrial automation market and on the European PLC market.”

The European PLC market is expected to experience moderate growth during the forecast period. The small and medium PLC product segment will be instrumental in sustaining market growth and expansion in the coming years.

A major trend defining the market will be increasing end user concerns over cyber security.

“Cyber security is expected to be the key parameter in safety regulations and standards that are about to be introduced in January 2012,” explains Sundaram. “The growth of the European PLC market in future will be driven by the need for enhanced cyber security, globalised service support and affordable product models.”

On the competitive front, intense competition between tier-1 companies is causing dramatic improvements in the PLC market, leading to the emergence of new products with improved design and control capabilities that surpass traditional definitions.

“Enhanced efficiency, need for regulatory compliance and improved safety and control capabilities will be key growth factors for the European PLC market during the forecast period,” concludes Sundaram.

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