Ever wondered why DCS vendors have been so keen to develop their own integrated safety-instrumented system (SIS) capability in recent years or, for that matter, why Rockwell bought ICS Triplex?
ARC has at least part of the answer in its latest Process Safety System Worldwide Outlook in which it predicts that the global SIS market will almost double over the next five years from some $1.4bn in 2007 to $2.5bn in 2012. Moreover, it would be predicting even faster growth were it not for the recent economic downturn in North America, although it still expects recent rates of growth to be maintained this year before declining somewhat during the remainder of the forecast period.
The safety system market has experienced unprecedented growth for the last two years, notes the reports principal author, ARC vice president Asish Ghosh. Increased demand for oil and gas due to the economic growth of China and India along with the high price of crude oil is fueling investments in oil and gas production and in refining, leading to increased demand for safety systems.
A further spur to investment in safety has been the growing awareness of new safety standards such as IEC 61508 and IEC 61511, while the high-profile accidents at Texas City in the U.S. and Buncefield in the U.K. have served to concentrate manufacturers minds wonderfully, often encouraging them to replace obsolescent equipment in North American and Western European facilities.
The report also points out how the focus on the complete safety life cycle embodied in new standards such as IEC 61511 is creating a rapidly growing demand for software to help manage the safety life cycle and encouraging SIS suppliers and third parties to develop safety life cycle consulting practices. Users, on the other hand, are increasingly looking for packaged solutions to achieving regulatory compliance.
Fastest growth over the forecast period is anticipated in the EMEA region, already the largest SIS market, as the elevated oil price drives significant investment in grass-roots facilities in the Middle East and in parts of Europe.