ARC study: Discrete automation spending to slump, then rebound
Emerging economies still driving growth, study concludes
A new study by the ARC Advisory Group finds that spending on automation in discrete manufacturing leveled off in 2008 and may actually drop a bit in 2009 before rebounding.
ARC sees a growth in the overall discrete automation market of 3.5% over the next five years, and reach $22 billion by 2012. Growth in the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) countries and Eastern Europehave fueled the recent growth.
“One reason the automation business did so well during the past few years and will continue to do well after settling of recent economic turmoil is the huge list of challenges and changing conditions in the global business environment that manufacturers must respond to,” according to ARC senior analyst Himanshu Shah , the principal author of ARC’s “ Automation Systems for Discrete Industries Worldwide Outlook ”.
“While manufacturers are more cautious when it comes to capital investments, they recognize that automation and energy savings are crucial to survive in the global economy,” the study stated. “Consequently, they ensure that their capital is well spent and are continuously examining their engineering, operations, and maintenance practices to fully leverage the benefits of automation technology.”
One technology breakthrough in the industry is the Programmable Automation Controller, which provides real-time logic, motion, and process control, in addition to HMI and other functions, on a single platform.
Annual Salary Survey
After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.
The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.