Technavio’s latest report on the industrial automation control market in Asia-Pacific (APAC) provides an analysis on the most important trends expected to impact the market outlook through 2020. Technavio defines an emerging trend as a factor that has the potential to significantly impact the market and contribute to its growth or decline.
The top three emerging trends driving the industrial automation control market in APAC according to Technavio’s lead industrial automation research analysts are:
– Cloud-based supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems
– Increased use of analytics
– Growing use of programmable automation controllers (PACs)
Growing adoption of cloud-based SCADA systems
Scalability, ease of updating and upgrading through cloud, and easy to retrieve files, are some of the benefits of adopting cloud technology in SCADA, which is leading to their increased adoption in the global SCADA market.
“Generally, SCADA systems are installed to control and monitor sensors and transmitters installed in the facility. A controller or operator sits inside the facility and controls applications with the help of a human machine interface. The integration of cloud computing technology with SCADA systems enables operators to control applications via the Internet,” says Bharath Kanniappan, a lead analyst from Technavio’s automation industry.
While the possibility of hacking has raised security concerns, such threats are unlikely to affect the popularity of cloud-based SCADA systems, as the evolution of cloud technology is expected to offer more sophisticated security features. Technavio expects that cloud-based SCADA systems will be highly successful commercially due to their many benefits.
Increased use of analytics
Analytical software solutions are designed to help companies improve decision making, reduce errors, and identify the root cause of problems. Therefore, industries are increasingly opting for these tools to help develop decision-making procedures. Automation vendors have started incorporating analytics tools in SCADA and advanced process control (APC), while the integration of predictive modelling, forecasting, optimisation, and statistical analysis in software such as SCADA and APC, has made it easy to identify and predict possible errors in the process.
For example, sophisticated SCADA systems are used in wind and solar-powered energy generation plants. At times, false alarms in these plants result in shutdowns that reduce efficiency and productivity. Predictive analytics can be used to identify the instance of faulty alarms, thereby raising the efficiency of SCADA systems. Technavio analysts estimate that the use of analytics will significantly influence the industrial automation control market in APAC and across the world in the coming years.
Growing use of PACs
PACs combine the elements of a PC-based controller and a programmable logic controller (PLC), which is the foremost requirement of an automotive manufacturer. A major drawback of a PLC is the use of ladder logic programming, which uses graphical representation of logics and contacts. This technique is robust, but time-consuming. The development of PAC uses modern programming languages such as C and C++ and will likely stimulate market demand for PLC during the forecast period.
“PAC uses standard communication protocols that enable it to download and transfer information from various connected systems. The technology is more reliable than other control systems such as DCS, in terms of scalability of production and product flexibility in automotive plants,” says Bharath.