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Advanced HMIs drive the terminal market towards $3bn

16 June, 2014

The global market for industrial operator terminals was worth $2.32bn in 2013, and will rise to around $3.16bn by 2018, according to a new report from the analyst, IHS. The growth (equivalent to a CAGR of 6.4%) will be driven largely by the increasing use of advanced graphical and portable operator terminals, while revenues from older and more basic products – such as text-based terminals – are expected to fall.

“Sales of advanced terminals accounted for approximately 70% of global revenues in 2013,” reports IHS analyst, Alexandra Whiting. “Operator terminals with high resolution, more than 256 colours, Ethernet connectivity, and mobility are typical requirements for today’s machine operators. This can be seen as a reflection of consumer smart devices.

“Whilst there is an associated price elevation with these features, the benefit outweighs the cost for many machine-builders and end-users,” she adds. “Continually decreasing average selling prices are also serving to make higher-end technology more attainable, and reduce the objection of price sensitivity.

“Despite this, the markets for text-based and basic graphical operator terminals are far from going away,” Whiting continues. “They provide a cost-effective alternative in particularly price-sensitive markets, such as China. Whilst the revenue growth of these technologies might be comparatively slow, they will still continue to serve as replacements for the current installed base for the foreseeable future and will be adopted with simple machinery that only requires a basic human interface.”

The global market for operator terminals 2013–2018
Source: IHS

IHS reports that 7” and 10” displays were the “sweet spots” for graphical terminals during 2013, and expects this preference this to continue in the period to 2018 as users place more emphasis on widescreen terminals.

According to the analyst, Siemens, Rockwell Automation and Mitsubishi Electric were the top three global vendors of operator panels in terms of revenue during 2013.

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