The US chemicals market is expected to witness investments of nearly $80 billion by 2020, creating strong opportunities for automation solution providers. These vendors must adopt diversified go-to-market strategies and new business models as automation technology requirements will vary depending on the product type i.e. basic chemicals, specialty chemicals, life sciences and consumer products. For instance, a cost-focus strategy is important to penetrate the basic chemicals segment, while a customer-focus strategy is key to tap the specialty and consumer chemicals segments.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Growth Trends and Dynamics for Automation in the US Chemicals Market, finds that the automation and control systems (ACS) market earned revenues between $2.00 and $2.50 billion in 2013 and expects this to expand at a compound annual growth rate of five to six percent over the next seven years.
“Demand for ACS in the US chemicals market is fuelled primarily by large greenfield projects that involve lump sum turnkey contracts (LSTK), holistic automation packages, instrumentation and services,” said Frost & Sullivan Industrial Automation & Process Control Senior Research Analyst Rahul Vijayaraghavan. “Both greenfield and brownfield investments are expected to peak between 2015-2018 with a 60:40 split in favor of the former. This will significantly brighten the prospects of automation vendors in the chemical industry.”
However, automation vendors need to employ a targeted approach when catering to different project types. Large complex greenfield projects call for a main automation contractor (MAC) or main instrumentation contractor (MIC) approach, robust delivery model as well as project management and execution capabilities. On the other hand, brownfield projects demand strong industry and application expertise, integration capabilities, and competitive pricing as the scale of the opportunity is significantly smaller than that of greenfield projects.
“Since MACs and MICs address critical challenges surrounding scheduling, cost, time-to-market and engineering capabilities faced in large greenfield projects, end users prefer these approaches,” noted Rahul. “In fact, the MAC approach and robust project execution capabilities enabled Emerson to win the contract for the Sasol project.”
Industry investments are skewed towards bulk petrochemicals and the downstream sector will be lucrative for automation system vendors. Partnerships with engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) firms and systems integrators are a dominant trend. Automation vendors recognize this, as demonstrated by KBR and Yokogawa Electric Corporation’s strategic alliance to develop repeatable fertilizer automation solution packages. This exemplifies the market’s move towards standardized automation packs, which are tightly integrated with basic engineering design and proprietary technologies.
Growth Trends and Dynamics for Automation in the US Chemicals Market is part of the Industrial Automation & Process Control Growth Partnership Service program. Frost & Sullivan’s related studies include: Strategic Analysis of the Global Manufacturing Execution Systems Market, Global Automation Services Market for Process Industries, Analysis of the North American Terminal Automation Market, and Analysis of the Global Pumps Market in the Chemicals Industry. All studies included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.
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Growth Trends and Dynamics for Automation in the US Chemicals Market / NE88-10