Process automation aids in the integration and orchestration of tools, processes, and people through a set of workflow. It uses a network for the interconnection of controllers, sensors, actuators, terminals, and operator. Process automation provides faster response to the concerns of the mission-critical systems, helps in the reduction of human errors, and allocates resources more effectively.
The increasing need for reduction of operational cost in the process industries has widely driven the market growth. Complexities in integration with the legacy systems and data security concerns are some of the factors that impede the growth of the process automation market.
The Internet of Things (IIoT) and the Industrial 4.0 are dominating trends in the industrial sector, with machinery and devices being connected via the internet. The number of IoT connected devices rose to 20.35 billion in 2017 from 15.41 billion in 2015, and is expected to reach 51.11 billion by 2023, given the huge push from the investment of the technology providers through continuous research and development.
Asia is still the world’s strongest growth market. This region saw a total of 156,000 units sold in 2015 – a rise of 16%. With around 68,000 industrial robots sold, China alone surpassed the total market volume for Europe. Growth in China saw foreign-based robotic manufacturers profit with a 69% share of the total market. At the same time, domestic competitors have, by now, significantly expanded their market share to 31%. The robotics markets in South Korea and Japan continue to occupy second and third places in global sales behind China - followed by the United States and Germany.
The country’s networks, on the other hand, do not provide the low latency required for the efficient operation of these devices.Moreover, the operations of DCS, PLC, SCADA, and MES are complex, and require a highly skilled workforce. Furthermore, initial investment associated with traverse from an assembly line through automated production line is expected to be high.
The companies operating in the market are also acquiring start-ups working on Process Automation technologies to strengthen their product capabilities.
Honeywell International, ABB, Rockwell Automation, Mitsubishi Corporation, Schneider Electric SE, Emerson Electric, Eaton Corporation, Dassault Systems, Yokogawa Electric Corporation, and Siemens.
Technologies such as distributed control systems (DCS), manufacturing execution system (MES), local area network (LAN), remote terminal units (RTUs), programmable logic controller (PLC) and most importantly supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) are the leading aspects for the process automation market.
Process Automation Market Growth Drivers
Industrial automation or factory automation are some of the most prolific growth drivers of the process automation market. The emerging requirement for reducing human interaction in various processes in order to cut down labor costs as well as minimize errors has opened a room full of opportunities for automated systems in the industrial sector.
The imminent need for achieving the best possible results concerning accuracy is also one of the growth drivers for the process automation market. Various automation equipment installed in multiple industries such as pharmaceutical, electrical, manufacturing, and other sectors has achieved prominent results which are much more precise than the human implied operations.
Process Automation Market Challenges
Process automation is estimated to reduce a significant amount of jobs for the regional population. Process automation in areas with industrial based employment will replace the man-force with automated equipment, which further will lead to unemployment among the people. This leap could affect the regional inhabitants at a massive scale.
Incorporating process automation in the manufacturing chain sometimes requires building high-level algorithms, and these algorithms are programmed to target a specific dataset. If there comes a data gap in the agile development process or automation, it could lead to an ambiguous process or development.
According to WTO, the country's share in global manufacturing value has declined over decades, from 29% in the early 1980s to 18.6% in 2015, with slower output growth than China, South Korea, Germany, and Mexico. Thus, the country is likely to turn toward process automation and smart manufacturing technologies, to enhance its production capabilities.