The market for programmable safety systems is growing at a much faster rate than those for other automatic machine safeguarding products. Forecast to increase at 29.2% between 2003 and 2006, recent changes in design and implementation processes have increased demand for programmable safety systems.
In speaking with automation suppliers, VDC has discovered that this surge has been predominantly driven by three developing trends:
1. Safety standards — Countries within Europe started developing machine safety standards long before North America. Because the European community is further advanced in this regard, this region has significant influence regarding the migration toward uniform international machine safety regulations, including IEC 61508 and EN 954.
2. 120V A/C vs. 24V D/C — Historically North America has used 120V A/C power; however, the same global influences that have affected standards have proliferated the use of 24V D/C power in safety automation equipment. As a result, opportunities for safety automation vendors could multiply as customers look to either retrofit or replace existing systems.
3. Safety bus networks — Industries are increasingly realizing the value and cost savings of implementing safety bus networks in manufacturing processes. For instance, European auto OEMs, such as Volkswagen and BMW, have installed digital safety networks in an effort to reduce costs of robot installations. Contrary to hard-wired safety systems that employ mechanical relays, safety bus networks digitally monitor the status of safety equipment through software platforms.
VDC's new edition of this study will track the progress of programmable safety systems and other market forces in the machine automatic safeguarding industry. It will assess, quantitatively and qualitatively, market demand for machine automatic safeguarding components, equipment and networking. The study will identify current and emerging applications for machine safeguarding products, and will provide detailed analyses of the technical, developmental and regulatory issues facing this industry.
To view the press release, including tables, go to:http://www.vdc-corp.com/