Worldwide HMI Software, Services Market Seen at $559 Million by 2008

Visibility and intelligence provided by human-machine interface solutions critical for managing manufacturing operations - ARC

Visibility and intelligence provided by human-machine interface solutions critical for managing manufacturing operations  ARC

Dedham, MA — September 30, 2004 — The human-machine interface (HMI) software market is set to grow at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.0 percent over the next five years, according to a new study from technology consultancy ARC Advisory Group.

The HMI market totaled nearly $439 million in 2003, and it will reach over $559 million in 2008, outperforming the industrial automation market as a whole, ARC reports in its "HMI Software Worldwide Outlook Market Study."

"HMI and related software has become a critical component in the infrastructure for successfully managing manufacturing operations," said Craig Resnick, ARC research director and the principal author of the study.

"Ensuring connectivity across the manufacturing enterprise is a primary value proposition for manufacturers employing automated production systems," Resnick continued. "These manufacturers want to access and aggregate real-time production process information to drive factory visibility and intelligence. Enterprise connectivity translates into both manufacturing efficiency and a lower cost of goods sold."

HMI and related control software applications remain an integral part of the process, hybrid and discrete industries for the access, presentation and exchange of information for managing plant floor production processes. HMI software systems available today represent to the manufacturing community the application of cutting-edge technologies while maintaining the established functionality that each vertical industry has come to depend on. Due to the strategic role played by HMI software, manufacturers are looking to HMI systems as the tool for plant-wide information collection and integration, according to ARC.

Software in this space that utilizes flexible, multi-functional, interoperable platforms providing peer-to-peer interfaces with other platforms is driving factory visibility and intelligence as well as playing a major role in providing plant-wide connectivity. That is why HMI software is sometimes referred to as visualization software, ARC noted.

On the plant floor, HMI software connectivity allows a view of devices and machinery. And connectivity towards the enterprise allows HMI software to view production management and manufacturing intelligence tiers. Those HMI software suppliers that offer applications that address these user requirements for exchange and distribution of factory floor information are postured to grow their business, according to ARC.

The North American share of the HMI and related control software market has grown, even though the region is outsourcing a portion of manufacturing to China and other developing countries. A number of factors played part in this growth, ARC reported, including the competitive advantage of North American machinery because of the dollar devaluation, the increased use of HMI software in building automation, the greater use of automation in food and beverage and pharmaceutical industries for regulatory compliance, and the increased demand for storage and retrieval applications in material handling equipment for warehousing.

Growing industrial regions such as China, Korea and India continue to present some of the greatest industrial growth in the world. China, especially, is providing a very fertile business environment for industrial automation and related technologies for automation suppliers. The Japanese yen also depreciated by more than 20 percent against the euro, giving a boost to Japanese machinery exports and helped to maintain Japan's market share.