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Automation Industry

Introduction to Automation Industry

As the name suggests, "automation" is a set of technologies employed to achieve superior performance by operating machines and systems with minimum or no human intervention. Automation can be broadly divided into discrete and process automation where automation is more in the process type and less in the discrete type as it involves assembling of discrete components with labour requirement. Automation can be divided into three types based on output :

  • If the production is high and the design is inflexible, it is called mass or flow automation.
  • If the output is medium and done in batches, it is termed batch automation.
  • If the production is low and designs are multiple with varying demand for products with different designs, it is known flexible or job automation.

Automation helps in reducing the overall cost of the product or output as it helps in reducing the costs associated to energy, man power, and infrastructure. Labour availability and cost is already a major problem in industries such as mining, automotive and oil & gas. In addition, it also helps in increasing the safety during the production process. Automation ultimately controls the output by keeping the idle time low, quantity and quality high with efficient handling times.

Introduction to Instrumentation Industry

Instrumentation has been in existence in different industries from several decades. Automation and instrumentation go hand in hand as instruments are used in the automation process to monitor, measure or analyze the level of a product's performance. Majority of the transducer controllers, sensors, transmitting devices, indicators, display devices, recorders, data logging devices, and other data gathering systems are placed at strategic locations so as to gather data at different points and enhance the process by improving the next step in the process and adapting to any flaws at one or more steps in the process. There are several types of instrumentation techniques which include

  • Programmable Instrumentation
  • Processor Instrumentation
  • Operating System Instrumentation
  • Network Instrumentation

Trends and Developments

The global industrial automation revenues crossed $180 billion in 2012 out of which both discrete and process automation occupy 50% share and the rest comprise of hybrid manufacturing. Optimization of manufacturing process, rapid industrialization in emerging markets, increasing environmental concerns and shortage of skilled labour force has led to the growth of this industry in leaps and bounds. The labour costs in the U.S. increased from $25 per hour in 2000 to $36 per hour in 2012 and this is expected to further increase in the near future. Globally, process automation and instrumentation industries are expected to grow at a CAGR of 6% during the period 2013-2020.

Instrumentation has helped many companies achieve high output with minimum or no defective pieces particularly in industries such as Automotive and pharmaceuticals where human efforts are to the minimum. The entire process of automation becomes efficient after installing instruments at set locations and sending the gathered data to a group of experts who help in monitoring eliminating any kind of errors. Instrumentation is the backbone for any process industry.

Importance of Market Research

The global industrial automation industry is primarily a Capex intensive industry and the EBIT values are different for varied industries like automotive, power, oil and gas, pulp and paper, food and beverage, chemical and so on. Understanding the intricacies of each industry is necessary to make a strategic decision as the costs involved are not only about capital but also the significant amount of time invested in automating a plant and the lost efficiencies due to a wrong step.

Market research is hence necessary for our clients to make decisions or understand about different topics like asset or product life cycle management, supplier evaluation and selection, technology planning, project planning, architecture planning, product bench marking, supplier relationship management, project costing analysis, due diligence for investments or M&As.

Solutions We can Offer

We help the different players in the automation and instrumentation ecosystem like automation equipment providers, software and service companies, investors, manufacturers and investors with their market research needs. This involves providing accurate market forecast, data and information of the respective manufacturing industries, market share analysis, key automation products, software and service suppliers, turnkey projects involved, contract manufacturers landscape, regulatory and legal landscape and so on. We also provide strategic and competitive analytical tools for OEMs and their automation equipment suppliers.

Logical Estimates

Spending across the world on manufacturing is rising slowly especially in the US and Asia regions. The ISM index for example rose to 56.2 which was the strongest since 2011. Inventories are getting lean, employment has increased and sales of electronic products, automotives have also picked up. The health of the automation industry is directly dependent on the manufacturing industry as high demand leads to expansion by acquisitions, upgradation of assembly lines or building new factories.
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