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PLC outlook poor this year, but 2010 looks bright

The Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) market experienced “healthy growth” in 2008 but is expected to “contract severely” by the end of this year, and then rise again in 2010, according to a report from ARC Advisory Group.

But while the outlook for 2009 has been negatively affected by the current gloom and doom in the global economy, PLC market growth will be on the up again in 2010 and beyond, the Programmable Logic Controller Worldwide Outlook report said.

Manufacturing and infrastructure industries are expected to invest in automation to save energy, increase productivity, and upgrade existing facilities once the economic turmoil settles. As a result, the worldwide market for PLCs is expected to grow over the next five years, according to the study.

Last year was not a bad year for automation, with the 2008 PLC market growing at a moderate rate in spite of the economic trouble that started in the US at the end of 2007, ARC said.

At this point, the manufacturing sector, initially insulated, began to feel pain and then contracted severely, said the report.

“While a severe contraction period is expected in 2009, automation demand is expected to start turning around beginning in 2010 as the manufacturers face increasing global market pressures. PLCs, which are used across all major discrete and process industries, will enjoy growth as the new economy creates increased demand,” sais ARC Advisory Group senior analyst and principal author of the report, Himanshu Shah.

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