Keywords: Plant Asset Management, Automation, Maintenance
The compelling case that Plant Asset Management (PAM) Systems provides for reducing operational costs while simultaneously improving performance is the primary factor driving growth of PAM. The worldwide market for Plant Asset Management Systems will experience growth this year and throughout the forecast period according to a new ARC Advisory Group study.
PAM growth is being fueled in part by the increased amount and complexity of automation equipment in manufacturing plants that requires a higher order approach to maintenance provided by PAM systems. “As aging workers leave the workforce, maintenance specialists are vanishing and are being replaced with generalists. These generalists will need user-friendly tools and more simplified work procedures to maintain plant equipment,” according to Sr. Analyst Paula Hollywood, the principal author of ARC’s “Plant Asset Management Systems Worldwide Outlook”.
Plant Operators Are Getting Involved
The process industries and utilities as a whole recognize the need to minimize downtime and maximize asset availability. Certainly, asset intensive industries provide the greatest opportunities for PAM suppliers. In these industries, responsibility for asset availability is no longer the domain of maintenance alone as operators take a more active role in data collection and machine inspection.
Industry and Application Specific Solutions
Industry and application specific solutions are emerging. Several suppliers have introduced solutions for wind turbines. With turbines located high in the air, servicing one can be both dangerous and expensive. The mechanical nature of turbines and the fact that they are generally located in remote areas makes them prime candidates for continuous on-line monitoring. PAM solutions can make owner/operators aware of individual turbine performance degradation, enabling maintenance to be scheduled and performed well in advance of actual failure.
Economic Expansion in Emerging Markets Drives Growth
Primary growth drivers are economic expansion in Asia, Eastern Europe, Brazil, and the Middle East. However, the lingering effects of the 2007-2009 recession are still being felt as global economic imbalance remains. Unemployment in the US remains high and uncertainty in Europe persists. Asia and Latin America have been less affected. These imbalances will impact growth of PAM solutions from a regional perspective. ARC expects growth in the global PAM market to continue to expand at above average automation industry growth rates as the benefits of PAM are too impactful to ignore.
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