IMS Research has recently published a study estimating that world discrete machine safety component revenues grew by 17.5 percent in 2011, exceeding USD $2 billion.
A continuing strong recovery from the 2009 recession and updates to international and European machine safety standards were amongst the main growth drivers.
The world discrete machine safety component market, valued at US$1.8 billion in 2010, underwent a significant change at the end of 2011 as EN 954-1 ceased to be harmonised under the European machinery directive.
The natural successors, EN ISO 13849-1 and -2, along with EN (IEC) 62061, use different systems of assessment and therefore many machines required re-certification in order to comply. The flurry of media coverage during 2011 and a rise in supplier promotion resulted in a significant boost to component revenues.
“This succession of standards in the EU is expected to have a wide impact,” commented Mark Watson, Industrial Automation Research Manager.
“Any machinery sold into the EU has to meet the new standards, which means that machine builders in North America, Western Europe and Japan are upgrading in order to sell into the market.
"Countries with developing manufacturing industries, including Brazil, China and India, are also beginning to adopt these new standards. This is partly due to multinational companies implementing common safety standards across global manufacturing sites.”
Growth in 2011 was mainly driven by the established discrete machine safety component markets in EMEA and the Americas. EMEA revenues were estimated to account for over half of the world total, having grown by 18 percent in 2011.
Americas revenues grew 22 percent to just over US$0.5 billion in 2011. In Asia Pacific, discrete machine safety is yet to become fully established. Revenue growth was estimated at 11 percent in 2011, but this regional market is expected to have much stronger growth in the future.
“As acceptance of international standards increases in Asia Pacific, safety component revenues will begin to grow more rapidly,” continued Watson. “In fact, Asia Pacific revenues are forecast to surpass those from the Americas in 2014 as the Chinese and the Indian markets become more established.”
The EMEA region is currently the heart of the discrete machine safety component market and supplier base. Machine builders and safety component vendors in EMEA will drive propagation of standards into other regional markets.
The standards that are harmonised under the EU machinery directive are constantly updated in order to keep pace with the latest technology advances and movements in the market.
The process of updates is steady, but will help to drive world discrete machine safety component revenues, which are projected to grow at about 10 percent per year to 2016.