HMI Software and Services Market going Mobile

  • November 03, 2011
  • ARC Advisory Group
  • News

November 3, 2011 - As the global economy stabilized in 2010, the worldwide HMI software and services industry experienced strong order recovery and growth. Higher HMI software and services revenues were driven by growing industrial demand for energy efficiency and sustainability. Modernization requirements to improve manufacturing productivity and safety, as well as investments for new and upgraded power and infrastructure projects, also drove growth, according to a new ARC Advisory Group study. As HMI software shifts from standalone computing towards client/server architecture, demand for the ability to view and/or control a process via the Internet or corporate intranets increase dramatically. “Demand continues to increase for HMI ‘thin-client’ products, which users utilize to view and/or control a process from a computer or browser-embedded device on which no HMI software is installed. These thin-client HMI products and solutions also enable end users to remotely and securely visualize and execute applications from any location around the globe,” according to ARC Research Director Craig Resnick, the principal author of ARC’s “Human Machine Interface Software and Services Worldwide Outlook.” Mobility Drives Growth of Smart Phones and Tablet PCs Operating systems, such as Apple’s iOS, Google’s Android, as well as Blackberry’s OS, are the foundations for a great majority of the smart phones and tablet PCs. These devices can be used for thin client browser access to view HMI data. However, when the HMI software package itself is embedded in a smart phone or tablet PC, the device typically will be running an operating system capable of supporting real-time applications without extensions. This is why HMI software and services providers are playing an increasing role of providing solutions for fulfilling this fast growing market demand of deploying mobile devices for HMI visualization. Additional HMI Software Applications for OEM Machinery Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are an important customer type and a key market for HMI software and services. Examples of OEM applications include plastics or packaging machinery where the machinery supplier purchases HMI software products, embeds them in its machines, and then sells the machines to the end user as a value-added product. As an example, growing global consumer pull for additional SKUs and more sophisticated packaging requirements are spurring new food & beverage applications, which will increase the demand for OEM packaging machinery to support this market growth. This trend will increase demand for HMI software and services for both on-machine and M2M applications. Collaboration Causes Shift to Server-Based Platforms Demand for improved collaboration between suppliers, customers, production management, and plant floor operation is driving the shift to server-based platforms and solutions. Remote HMI software viewing and control capabilities, increased interaction with legacy systems, and plant control information made more accessible to enterprise applications, is driving this shift. These collaboration-enabling solutions, which are typically server-based, provide the ability to view the entire system via a HMI visualization and production management system that can bring together, for example, all real-time data, historical data, lab data, and business data, into an operation's portal. This is done to improve the user’s capability to acquire concise and relevant information very quickly, as well as for management and operations to be alerted for issues that require their attention, along with the ability to access that information anytime, from anywhere. About ARC: Founded in 1986, ARC Advisory Group is the leading research and advisory firm for industry. Our coverage of technology from business systems to product and asset lifecycle management, supply chain management, operations management, and automation systems makes us the go-to firm for business and IT executives around the world. For the complex business issues facing organizations today, our analysts have the industry knowledge and first-hand experience to help our clients find the best answers.  

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