Drives and Controls Magazine

Machine safety market heads above $2bn

19 March, 2011

Global revenues for discrete machine safety components will rise from $1.5bn in 2010 to more than $2.15bn in 2015, according to a new forecast. This rapid growth – faster than that of the general automation market – is being driven by legislation, says the market analyst, IMS Research. It adds that many machine-builders and end-users now see machine safety as a way to increase productivity, rather than simply being a cost.

“Although emerging standards are seen by some as a drain on resources, others increasingly see them as an opportunity,” says Mark Watson, the IMS research manager who wrote the report. “As discrete machine safety components have become more intricate and used in more complex applications, new standards are required to define emerging technologies and components. The benefits here include a wider adoption of programmable safety components, faster identification and rectification of safety-related problems, and increased productivity due to reduced downtime.”

Safety is also helping machine-builders and end-users to maximise their competitive advantages, IMS argues. If suppliers can provide safety components that can be integrated easily with control components, then system performance should improve. Machine safety should be marketed as a benefit, says IMS, because operators are protected from hazards and machine downtime is minimised.