The Worldwide DCS market grew modestly in 2013, with revenues showing about 4 percent growth worldwide. The regional picture was not uniform. Latin America outpaced all other regions, while the growth rate was flat in North America after a very large jump in 2012. Surprisingly, Asia also experienced tepid growth overall. The business grew in the EMEA region, due to strong project activity in the Middle East and Russia.
End user organizations continue to face a shortfall of qualified personnel. This “brain drain” leads to some interesting problems in the process industries. The situation spurs growth in more advanced forms of automation such as modular procedural automation, in which previously manual procedures are automated, with the best practices for those procedures embedded into the automation system.
An aging installed base represents a major challenge facing suppliers in the DCS market. While they have certainly stepped up their offerings in terms of both product and support services, many end users still see the system upgrade path as difficult and disruptive. The key to unlocking this potential market is to design upgrade processes with the same and perhaps even greater care than is spent on new products. The challenge is to provide smooth paths to upgrade old products and systems that were not designed with smooth or on-line upgrades in mind.
Both automation suppliers and end users strive to get more value from their automation systems. Some key strategic issues covered in the study include:
- Technology and business trends for DCS
- Intelligent I/O modules and cabinets
- Cyber security
- Impact of cloud computing
- Remote operations management
- Skid-mounted equipment
- Integrated process and electrical automation
- Managing engineering talent
- Migration challenges and strategies