VDC Finds Strongest Growth Prospects for Wireless Monitoring and Control Products in Process Industry Applications

9/25/2002 - A new report from Venture Development Corporation (VDC) titled "The North American Market for Wireless Monitoring & Control in Discrete and Process Manufacturing Applications" forecasts the overall product shipments for this market will increase rapidly from about $109 million in 2001 to around $752 million in 2006, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 47%.

The forecast CAGRs by major consuming industries range from about 34% to 54%. Table I shows year 2001 shipment shares to the 4 largest consuming industries, along with the forecast shares for 2006. These four accounted for 57% of the market in 2001, and are forecast to account for 64% in 2006.

In contrast, shipment share gains are forecast for the other major classes of applications. The majority of growth in shipments for these applications are expected to be for use in the major utility, chemical/petrochemical, and food/beverage industries.

The majority of these applications center more on monitoring than control, as many users are expected to remain hesitant about using wireless technology for true control applications due to reliability and safety concerns. Safety concerns over RF interference and data security will be very difficult hurdles to overcome before users will become comfortable enough to use wireless control in very many operations. It should also be noted, that in a large share of the applications where the products are used for both monitoring and control, the control functions are not providing real-time control of the equipment, but rather are controls such as start, stop, jogging, parameter adjustments, etc. used for set-ups, and for troubleshooting.

About the Study
VDC's market study "The North American Market for Wireless Monitoring and Control in Discrete and Process Manufacturing Applications" provides market sizes, segmentation, and forecasts for wireless products used in industrial monitoring and control applications for transmission ranges of 1 mile and less. This includes data on shipments by types of wireless technologies (proprietary, and standards such as Bluetooth, IEEE 802.11, 11a, and 11b), by industries, and by major applications.

The results of extensive user interviewing and a web survey provide insight into current and planned wireless implementations of end users, OEMs, and systems integrators. Also provided is insight into reasons why others have no plans to adopt wireless technology for industrial monitoring and control applications, and factors that could lead them to do so.

Analysis is made of competitors now in the market, and likely to be in the future. This includes IT product suppliers, suppliers of RFID products, and automation and control system suppliers. Vendor shipment rankings are given for the major product categories, and detailed profiles are presented on major vendors. Partnerships and alliances are investigated, along with sourcing policies, and channels of distribution.

Trends in wireless technology usage in industrial monitoring and control applications are discussed. These include comparison of proprietary and standard protocols, security and reliability considerations, application software needs, power source considerations, the benefits of wireless usage, problems with wireless usage, and solutions for these problems.

The report is available at a price of $5950.

About VDC
Venture Development Corporation is a technology research and management consulting firm serving the worldwide electronics industry. Founded in 1971 by graduates of the Harvard Business School and MIT, VDC offers in-depth market research, as well as custom strategic planning and consulting services in the areas of industrial automation, instrumentation, electronic components, computers and peripherals, communications, office equipment, and consumer electronics.

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