This will be driven primarily by the continued demand for improved automation systems and more efficient HMIs.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (industrialautomation.frost.com), Strategic Analysis of the South African HMI Markets, finds that the market earned revenues of $13.3 million in 2007 and estimates this to reach $24.8 million in 2014. The market will witness a more positive outlook from 2009, following the power shortages experienced in South Africa in 2007-2008, which created some level of uncertainty for capital investment.
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"Although market penetration is slow, continued steady investment in HMI solutions in the metals, minerals and mining sector will boost HMI revenues over the long-term," notes Frost & Sullivan Industry Analyst Litiya Matakala.
The South African metals, minerals and mining industry is not only a significant economic sector but also presents the single largest end-user market for industrial automation and control solutions. End users in this market segment are early adopters of automation and control solutions, and the growing number of new mines and rising investment makes it a very attractive end-user market.
However, HMI suppliers have to overcome low end-user awareness and acceptance of HMI products despite the improved functionality and the potential value of the solutions. End users are not only interested in the technology, but are also increasingly looking for a good return on investment.
"Despite falling prices, a sizeable proportion of end users feel that the initial cost of investment is too high," states Matakala. "This has discouraged investments in and adoption of highly technologically advanced HMI systems. Suppliers should focus on developing products that are easy to integrate, install, and use."
Suppliers need to align their sales process and activities with the strategic needs of their customers. The strategic fit of proposed HMI solutions in the existing automation and control infrastructure and the ability to upgrade or easily migrate is critical. To succeed, suppliers need to devote more resources targeted at top-level management and decision makers as opposed to operational managers.
End-user sectors covered in this research include power, metals, minerals and mining, petrochemicals and chemicals, food and beverage and water and wastewater.
Strategic Analysis of the South African HMI Markets is part of the Industrial Automation & Process Control Growth Partnership Service programme, which also includes research in the following markets: South African Switchgear Market, South African Pressure Sensors Market, South African Electric Motors Market and South African DCS Market. All research included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends that have been evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants. Interviews with the press are available.
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Strategic Analysis of the South African HMI Markets / M308