The Chinese programmable logic controllers (PLC) market is set for strong growth, driven by a vibrant and fast-growing economy that is giving high priority to establishing new factories and facilities and upgrading existing facilities. Increasing factory automation as manufacturers constantly aim to enhance productivity and generate higher returns on investment is another major driving force for the PLC market.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (industrialautomation.frost.com), Strategic Analysis of the Chinese Programmable Logic Controllers Markets, finds that these markets earned revenues of $541.4 million in 2006 and estimates this to reach $1,043.3 million in 2013.
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"China is becoming a hub for manufacturing activity for many reasons including low labor and operational costs, favorable FDI policies, and high demand for a variety of products," notes Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Lawrence Li. "Many global manufacturers are expanding their production facilities to China which expects to create sustained opportunities for PLCs."
New growth avenues for PLCs are opening up in end-user industries such as automotive, electronics, and semiconductor manufacturing. Both industries are flourishing and attracting heavy investment. The automotive industry's share of the Chinese PLC market expects to increase from 11.5 percent in 2006 to 13.7 percent in 2013, with PLC revenues growing from $62.3 million in 2006 to $142.9 million in 2013.
The Chinese electronic and semiconductor manufacturing market are equally vibrant, and its share of the PLC market is set to grow from 7.9 percent in 2006 to 8.7 percent in 2013. PLC revenues projects to increase from $42.8 million in 2006 to $90.8 million in 2013.
However, the Chinese PLC market is intensely competitive. Due to fierce price competition, technologies are advancing at a faster rate and product life cycles are becoming shorter. Suppliers are forced to continuously introduce new models with better features and functionality and superior performance just to maintain their position in the market.
Developing customized products for specific industries that have particular requirements in terms of system functionality and reliability could help companies attain an edge over competitors. This, however, requires a thorough understanding of the customer's specific demands.
Catering to customers' high expectations in terms of pre-sale, in-sale, and after-sale service is another major challenge for PLC suppliers. Some of these demands include timely introduction of new products, quick product delivery, professional installation, and high-quality maintenance. Due to these expectations, the quality of the service offering is becoming increasingly critical for suppliers' value proposition.
"With system integrators (SIs) playing an important role in helping PLC suppliers win projects, especially customized projects, suppliers can consider providing frequent and detailed training sessions to SIs to improve their product understanding," says Li. "By providing SIs with the skills they need to render superior service, suppliers will ultimately benefit by building a better relationship with customers."
Strategic Analysis of the Chinese Programmable Logic Controllers Markets, part of the Automation & Process Control Growth Partnership Service, provides a detailed analysis of the markets. This includes market revenues, forecasts, and competitive analysis for the overall market as well as individual segments. It also includes analyses based on distribution channels, end-user segments, geographic regions, and technologies and offers strategic recommendations to overcome the PLC market's biggest challenges. Interviews with the press are available.
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