Home » DCS Business Finds Salvation in Services
DCS Business Finds Salvation in Services
The global distributed control systems (DCS) market will continue to find growth in the midst of a global recession, largely because of an increased focus on the part of process automation suppliers on the services business. While 2009 and 2010 look to be challenging years, particularly for the North American, European and Japanese markets, the opportunity to drive growth in services remains substantial and will continue to drive growth in the overall DCS market well into the next decade.
|Courtesy of ARC Advisory|
"Services continue to be the fastest-growing segment of the overall DCS market. Growth in the operations or after-market services segment is much greater than that of project services, although project services also continue to grow due to the increasing popularity of the main automation contractor or MAC concept, where the automation supplier, typically the DCS supplier, takes full responsibility for all the automation related aspects of a project," according to ARC Research Director Larry O’Brien, the principal author of ARC’s "Distributed Control Systems Worldwide Outlook."
Shrinking Resource Base Drives Services Growth
From the retiring wave of baby boomers in North America to the shortfall of qualified engineers in Asia and other parts of the world, the labor shortage is the primary factor behind growth in demand for services and will propel growth in the overall DCS market for the foreseeable future. In many ways, the current economic crisis has made the situation worse, with more waves of layoffs and early retirements. Meanwhile, the ranks of new graduates lining up to fill these positions are increasingly slim. In a recent interview, for example, a major refining company stated it had lost 2,500 years of experience last year when 100 operators retired at one site, each with an average of 25 years of experience. As further evidence, a major chemical company analyzed its plant demographics and found one of its largest plants would lose 75% of its operating staff to retirement by the end of this decade.
Demand for value-added services has never been higher, as end users strive to extract every last ounce of performance out of their plants in the face of constrained personnel resources and a wave of retiring engineers. Demand has been particularly strong for outsourced maintenance and performance-related services such as loop monitoring. Within the process industries, there is the potential to reduce energy consumption, raw material usage and workforce requirements in literally millions of installed control loops. In addition, these control loops form the foundation for safe and reliable operations. However, in a typical plant, more than half of all loops are actually increasing variability, thus negatively affecting quality, throughput and ROA. Even if a process were running at optimal economic conditions, performance deterioration occurs from numerous sources, such as changes in business strategies, modifications in operating conditions and equipment wear.
SANS Control Security Training Coming to Houston
SANS Institute will hold ICS Security Training event on June 10-15 in Houston
ISA Training Through June in Houston
Technician training, engineering survival and SIS boot camps for condensed, intense, comprehensive educational experience.
NIST Releases Initial Cyber Security Framework Comment Analysis
The National Institute for Standards and Technology has released an initial analysis of the hundreds of comments by industry and the public they have received on the Obama Administration's "Improving Critical Infrastructure Cyber Security" executive order.
Past Time to Upgrade Your DCS?
Upgrading Your DCS: Why You May Need to Do It Sooner Than You Think
Metso Provides New Heating Solution for Finnish Utility
Finland's largest pellet-fired heating plant produces environmentally friendly energy in Tampere
K-BIM Consortium Selects Siemens' Parasolid for New AEC Applications
-BIM, a consortium of commercial, academic and government organizations wants the new application suite to help create a national standard for building information management (BIM)
Friday p.m. Wrap-Up:This Week on ControlGlobal and Elsewhere
Some of the week's biggest stories in process automation
What's Bad Weather Costing Us?
U.S. taxpayers paid nearly $100 billion responding to damages caused by last year’s extreme weather events associated with climate change, about $1,100 per taxpayer, according to an analysis by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).
BP, Shell, Statoil Raided by EC
European Commission investigators raided the offices of oil companies BP, Royal Dutch Shell and Statoil as well as data collector Platts as part of a larger inquiry into price manipulation of the global crude market.
What We Can Learn About Safety from the Titanic Hearings
This report from the U.K. publication The Engineer is instructive. It reprints a report from the May, 1912 hearings on the sinking of the Titanic.
- All news »
Access the entire print issue on-line and be notified each month via e-mail when your new issue is ready for you. Subscribe today.
- Featured White Papers