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HMI grows in Asia Pacific

Schneider Electric’s Citect brand was named a leading provider of human machine interface (HMI) software and services in Asia Pacific, according to a study.

The ARC Advisory Group worldwide HMI software and services market study said Citect has a strong market share in the region.

The study provides analysis of the worldwide HMI software and services market and found that the Asia Pacific market will be among the fastest growing regions in this sector through to 2012.

Worldwide, Citect has increased its share of the HMI software market — an increase which has been partially driven by Citect’s SCADA products, which are sold through Schneider Electric.

The increase is also a result of the Schneider’s continuing investment in the Asia Pacific region.

“Citect and Schneider have been working together for two years now and a leading ranking in the Asia Pacific region sets a firm foundation for further acceleration into the market,” said Citect CEO, Christopher Crowe.

ARC’s study notes that this market has experienced strong growth over the past two years. This growth is partly due to HMI Software suppliers increasing their offerings to focus on technical support and services.

“HMI software suppliers are continuing to add services at an accelerated rate, driven by the need of end users and OEMs for technical support, because many manufacturers no longer have the personnel internally to provide these services,” said ARC Research director, Craig Resnick.

Schneider and Citect are seeing this trend develop in the marketplace first hand.

“This is exactly what we are seeing our customers go through. They have diminishing teams due to current economic conditions and skill shortages, so we have different levels and packages of technical support and services to complement our customers’ internal structures,” said Crowe.

According to ARC, HMI software is being increasingly used as a digital dashboard to show key performance indicators (KPIs) such as overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) for the entire enterprise and to generate reports of actual performance versus targets.

“This represents a key direction in which the HMI software market is heading over the next five years,” said Resnick.

The worldwide HMI software and services market, which totalled over US$926 million in 2007, will reach over US$1.4 billion in 2012, outperforming the industrial automation market overall and growing at a compounded annual growth rate of more than 9.1 per cent over the next five years, says ARC.

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