# Automation Market - Real Numbers

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#### Luis Andes Navia

I just started at the beginning of this month, and is really impossible for me to find reports about the automation market. Reports that give me an idea about: -With each the most important brand in ......(PLC, Safety Relay, Robots ..). -Which is the situation in diferents countries (USA, Germany, Japan, ..). -Which is the opinion of the final and medium customer about the new software for this industry. -Etc.... In comparison with other this it is a market very hidden (in terms of information, reports,etc). Thank you very much for your opinions and for your help?

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#### Walt Boyes

There are several companies who publish for sale reports on the automation market. ARC, ARM, Gartner Group, Frost & Sullivan, Venture Development Corp. and others. Copperhill & Pointer is publishing a series of reports on flow sensors. They all have websites. Also you can purchase individual pages from these reports at Northern Light. The automation market is not hidden at all. You just have to pay for the information. Walt Boyes --------------------------------------------- Walt Boyes -- Telesian Technology Inc. [email protected] 21118 SE 278th Place - Maple Valley, WA 98038 253-709-5046 cell 425-432-8262 home office fax:801-749-7142 ICQ: 59435534 Telesian Technology, an e-Business services firm specializing in industrial enterprises. http://www.telesian.com ------------------------------------------

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#### Curt Wuollet

Hi Luis I have attempted to do market research on the industry too. Not only is it the most closed industry I have ever worked in, the information I do get is often obviously conflicting or impossible. It is even quite difficult to simply ascertain who is leading in a sector. There is considerable information in the archives here and on Jim Pinto's site, I believe. Good Luck! regards cww

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#### Curt Wuollet

Hi Walt I guess nothing is closed if you have enough money. You could even buy the formula for Coca Cola. I guess that means it's not secret. Regards cww

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#### John Moore

In all likelihood, ARC Advisory Group (www.arcweb.com) has the numbers on the automation industry that you are looking for. If you want them, it will cost you as that is how we make a living, but they are good. Virtually all automation suppliers use our numbers for their planning purposes. John Moore Vice President ARC Advisory Group phone: 781.471.1151 http://www.arcweb.com/ Collaborative E-Manufacturing Forum 2001 June 25 & 26, Boston MA http://www.arcweb.com/arcweb/Events/Forum0601/forum0601.htm

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#### Kerry L. Schrank

You don't need to do market research for the prevalence of PLCs in the industry. PC based control has taken over... Regards, Kerry Kerry L. Schrank Entivity 8631 Sea Ash Circle Round Rock, TX 78681 512-733-5811 tel 512-733-5806 fax 512-750-7662 cell www.entivity.com www.thinkndo.com

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#### Walt Boyes

No, you can't buy the formula for Coca-Cola. The six people who know it are not even permitted to be on the same airplane. But you can buy reports on the state of the automation market. This is a business, just like any other. David Spitzer and I are producing a report on the magnetic flowmeter market...an innovative one because we've also produced a technical comparison between every model of meter made. It will take several hundred hours of our time to produce this report. It costs what it costs because we need to be compensated for our time. You are an engineer. What would you charge for a project that took, oh, say 300 hours to do? Dave and I, Jesse Yoder, Steve Walton, ARC, ARM, Gartner, Frost & Sullivan, Venture Development and quite a few others all produce reports for this industry. Don't say the industry is closed and no information is available, because it is not true. You can even buy specific pages from some of these reports from Northern Light. What you are complaining about is not that the information isn't available, but that it isn't free. If the entire world will pay me $250K USD per year, I will make all of the automation information you could ever want free and in public domain. Otherwise, you will allow me (and the other people who act as industry analysts) the right to earn our livings producing this information. "Information just wanna bee free." Batpuckey. As a net producer of information, I am perfectly willing to not give it to you unless you pay me. Am I holding information hostage? Heck no. I am charging for what I know how to do, just like you do. Should engineering be free? Part of what I do is to organize the data. Data is not information. Data is for whoever wants to collect it. Collecting it takes time and costs money. "Data just wanna bee free!" is batpuckey too. It is like the old story of the boiler engineer who comes to the building, looks at the instruments, gets out a hammer and bangs three times on a pipe...whereupon everything works perfectly. He sends a bill for$500. The facilities engineer protests, "all you did was tap on a pipe!" The boiler engineer says, "Okay, here's a revised bill. $3 for the pipe-banging.$497 for knowing where to bang, and why." Walt Boyes

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#### Curt Wuollet

Hi Walt And those are the conflicting, and in some cases obviously impossible ones I referred to. They should at least give a preview so I could buy the figures I like :^). Did you know there are three leaders in the same area? That is Bullpuckey. I have settled for a composite of the views of folks on this list who, in my opinion have the least vested interest. Don't feel bad, analysts in the computer industry put out very predictable and conflicting reports based on who commisioned the study. That's where I learned the value of analysis done to order. One in particular you mention Gartner, produces the most obvious propaganda in the computer industry as well. I will revise my statement. Information is easy to find. Credible, objective, information that I dare to steer by has eluded me and paying for it didn't remedy the situation, it merely increased the variance. That still passes for closed in my book as it is impossible to verify. And I don't begrudge you whatever you can get people to pay for that information. I make a living knowing things. Regards cww

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#### Luis Andes Navia

Sorry Kerry, but you know that is not true ........ yet. Go with your Ideas for a real time control automation system and will see what the client said to you.

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#### Luis Andes Navia

What is the meaning of "Virtually all automation suppliers use our numbers for their planning purposes".... The market is hidden. You can make an analysis since the point of view of customers, technologies, marketplaces, competitors analysis,... but what about real numbers???. The automation companies (like in some others markets) never show real numbers about products. In fact it is very difficult to analyse the market becouse like you said are "your numbers" not the companies (ABB, AL, Simens, Schneider, Omron, Br, Lg, etc..) numbers. Best regards, Luis Andes > In all likelihood, ARC Advisory Group (www.arcweb.com) has the numbers on the automation industry that you are looking for. If you want them, it will cost you as that is how we make a living, but they are good. Virtually all automation suppliers use our numbers for their planning purposes. <

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#### Michael Griffin

Would you care to show us some market research figures which support this statement? And they better be nice open figures too - not those nasty conflicting or impossible ones! ********************** Michael Griffin London, Ont. Canada [email protected] **********************

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#### Heavner, Lou [FRS/AUS]

Luis, I'm not in a position to debate the accuracy of ARC's or anybody else's numbers. But I believe they are able to get data from automation companies that would never be shared directly with competitors or the public in general. The reason is that each company's specific numbers are held confidential and only aggragate market or market segment numbers are published in their reports. The more trust that automation companies have in a market analyst to protect their proprietary business information, the more they will be willing to share. Can an automation company lie about their numbers? Sure, but I suspect the analyst companies use numerous methods to validate their data. They probably do things like statistically sample automation buyers and check public information like automation company annual reports to at least ensure consistency. And they do this year after year. Most automation companies and potential buyers of automation market reports are probably more interested in trends than in the absolute accuracy of the data, anyway. If the information and analysis provided by the analysts was not of reasonably good quality, I don't imagine it would be as widely sold for as high a price as it is. And remember, just as automation companies compete, so do market analysts. So the prudent customer doesn't get "locked in" to one supplier unless he is confident that the supplier will fairly and adequately meet his needs making additional reports merely redundant. The various reports and surveys act to validate one another. The relative price of each report, all other things equal, is a proxy for the quality of the data. Regards, Lou Heavner Emerson Performance Solutions

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#### Joe Jansen/ENGR/HQ/KEMET/US

Actually, I had assumed he was joking! ;^) I don't know about anyone else, but I have been hearing of the demise of PLC's for over 10 years, and yet *somebody* is still buying them; and paying me to write programs for them! --Joe Jansen

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#### Michael Griffin

If you listen to computer people, they will tell you that the PC is going to disappear. It will be replaced in most applications by thin clients and a hoard of specialised gadgets connected to the internet. Certainly all the major office software companies are planning their future products on this basis. The future is supposed to be that you plug a thin client (you can think of this as a dumb terminal with a web browser built in) into the internet, and access all your applications from an "applications service provider" (ASP). You won't buy most software anymore, just rent it from the ASP. Customer companies will outsource all their current office computer operations to ASP companies. This is just like the old time sharing systems that used to run on mainframes. A similar market will serve the typical home user (most of whom only want web access and e-mail anyway). If this ever really happens, the mass market for PCs will disappear. There will be just thin clients, big servers, and "engineering workstations" for those oddball applications (CAD, software development, etc.) which don't fit the ASP model. If there is no mass market for PC hardware though, where does this leave PC based control? Who's going to build the commodity hardware? The industrial PC manufacturers depend upon being able to operate in parallel with the office computer market to give them a wide component supply base. Thin clients and large servers may not be suitable hardware models to base industrial PCs on. The only thing I am willing to predict is that most people who make forecasts about technology are going to be wrong... ********************** Michael Griffin London, Ont. Canada [email protected] **********************

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#### Bob Peterson

My personal opinion is that this whole idea of the "thin client" thing is just hype from the software people who want a more assured revenue stream and the D/P departments who see it as a way to reassert control over computing resources. My guess is it not going to happen. The cost for a thin clinet terminal is not much different then a cheap PC clone with its own hardware. The software cost is rarely that much different either. The only place where they can claim any cost savings is in the "total cost of ownership", which is highly inflated to (IMHO) justify the D/P department's attempt to reassert its control over computing resources. This may, or may not, fly. My guess is that in highly centralized, and inefficient companys, and in a few applications, it may well become common. For most of us, its a bad idea that needs to be killed off.

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#### Joe Jansen/ENGR/HQ/KEMET/US

Michael Griffin <[email protected]> wrote: >If you listen to computer people, they will tell you that the PC is >going to disappear. It will be replaced in most applications by thin >clients and a hoard of specialised gadgets connected to the internet. &lt;sarcasm> Does that mean that in a few years, after the PLC has gone away, of course, that my industrial controls will actually be running on a remote host and sending I/O data in XML via JavaScript? This will, of course, all run within a browser, correct? <&lt;sarcasm> Note the XML-Style tags!! I'm Gettin' Ready!!!! --Joe Jansen Future maintainer of the "industrial-ASP-Javascript-Remote-I/O archive"! dot-com

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#### Michel A. Levesque, eng.

> If you listen to computer people, they will tell you > that the PC is > going to disappear. It will be replaced in most applications > by thin clients > and a hoard of specialised gadgets connected to the internet. > ....... It seems to me that we are closing the circle here. Let's think back to yesteryear when all computing was done on the "big iron" mainframes and dumb terminals. Then the PC revolution came about and gave everybody the ability to do their own thing (empowerment). Now we have the IT people trying to bring back the centralized "big server" mentality with limited power "thin clients". Seems like a power-grab to me. In automation, we saw the same thing..."big iron" DCS versus empowered PLC's. Now that PLC's are almost up to the DCS in terms of what can be controlled, will we see a power-grab from DCS manufacturers??? Let's face it, having "big iron" is an advantage for MMI, data acquisition, advanced controls etc. But I would stay with the distributed model for control (many PLC's interlinked). The centralized model has benefits for ease of maintenance and troubleshooting. But, it also has a common point of failure. Using "big iron" servers with thin clients can be done now (RSView is TSE compliant isn't it?). So why are we not jumping whole hog into this???... Because, if that one server goes down, you are up the creek without even a boat, let alone a paddle. Sure, we can set up redundant servers redundant networking etc., But wouldn't we be right back to distributed computing? I've been going around and around on purpose. I just wanted to make my point that fundamental changes like distributed computing and centralized computing have both been tried. We need another alternative (other than the traditional distributed or centralized) computing model in industry. Now, THAT would make money (manufacturers...are you listening?). Michel A. Levesque eng., mcp Directeur Bureau Montreal AIA Automation Inc. [email protected]

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#### Curt Wuollet

Actually it's quite interesting that unless you were chained to Microsoft we have always had thin clients. It's just that in the UNIX world they are called X Terminals and the capability comes with any graphical UNIX system. Linux on a minimal PC makes a great X Terminal for the cost of the PC.. The version of Cimplicity IU that we have supports them. It's MS replacement does not. Now, I imagine the latest and greatest thing will be expensive thin clients that need both a Windows license and a seat license. Maybe a Citrix(or somebody) license too. Now if GE would just dump their crappy Windows product and support what was Cimplicity IU on Linux they would be right up with times and have a superior product with inexpensive thin clients. While they abhor cheap anything, I'll put it this way. They could charge what they get now and the customer would pay less. But one wonders why they were not a hot idea, apparently, then. What has changed to make them a hot item now? Regards cww

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#### David McGilvray

Hi Michael, A couple of points you may wish to consider: 1. Modern server technology spans quite a range, from dirt cheap PCs, to fully redundant machines that MAJOR corporations are running mission critical apps 7/24 with the same financial downtime consequences as industrial applications. The advantages offered by the server option, compared to PLC/MMI or DCS alternative, are many but I'll mention a few: i) much greater flexibility (solution to fit application), ii) much richer development environment without the endless bottlenecks created by PLC and DCS hardware interfaces, contributing to superior systems and performance, iii) economies of scale, iv) greater operational efficiency when, like the internet, a client (thin or otherwise) can access the server, without concern for location or machine (reduce sneakerware). 2. Many server based systems now offer embedded system (with a number of operating system options including embedded linux, RT Linux, CE, Embedded Java, RTOS, etc) capability so that actual control code may physically operate in field distributed devices connected to the server transparently via a variety of fieldbus options. This gives a new meaning to the word distributed. dwm