ARC: Process optimization market will top $1 billion

The Real-time Process Optimization and Training market is expected to grow at nearly 10% a year over the next five years. The market was about $670 million in 2005 and is forecasted to reach more than $1 billion in 2010, according to a new study by the ARC Advisory Group, “Real-time Process Optimization and Training Worldwide Outlook”.


The Real-time Process Optimization and Training market is expected to grow at nearly 10% a year over the next five years. The market was about $670 million in 2005 and is forecasted to reach more than $1 billion in 2010, according to a new study by the ARC Advisory Group, “Real-time Process Optimization and Training Worldwide Outlook”.

The RPO market continues to be dynamic and full of surprises, according to study authors. The steady but modest growth achieved over the past couple of years belies the turmoil and tribulation experienced by the market as each of the three RPO market segments — APC, on-line optimization, and dynamic simulation for training — performed differently.

“One segment in particular experienced significant upheaval that resulted in numerous acquisitions and reshaping of the market landscape,” said Tom Fiske, Ph.D., senior analyst and the principal author of the study. “Industry consolidation appears to have slowed down and with the strong prevailing economic conditions, strong growth lies ahead.”

One of the biggest challenges facing process manufacturers today is improving their asset effectiveness. To increase profitability, companies are shifting from a production-centric focus to a customer-centric focus that requires an approach where product quality and exemplary customer service are just as important for success as price. The transition from production-driven manufacturing to demand-driven manufacturing requires a greater variety of products, more frequent changeovers, and shorter production runs. It also requires increased agility and flexibility so that plants can efficiently execute production plans and profitably capture spot market opportunities.

Manufacturers have been using RPO solutions for many years. Despite this fact, RPO implementations can be time-consuming and costly. Users are looking for ways to reduce the cost and risk associated with these solutions. Recently, RPO suppliers have responded to users’ demands by making a concerted effort to decrease implementation time and improve on-line service time to maximize the benefits of their applications.

Many suppliers have added sophisticated tools to ensure their applications perform at the highest possible levels. Meanwhile, RPO suppliers are increasing the functionality of training simulators to enable them to perform more design and operational decision support tasks.

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Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

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