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PLCs thrive in Southeast Asia oil, automotive end markets

Posted: 16 Oct 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:PLC? OEM? automation? manufacturing?

Despite earning less than $200 million last year, makers of programmable logic controllers (PLC) can still look forward to growth prospects in major end markets such oil and gas, automotive and agriculture in Southeast Asia, IMS Research outlined in its latest report.

Demand from the machine-builder (OEM) space is relatively weak but the PLC market in Southeast Asia is still expected to reach $146.5 million, up from $139.4 million. Growth this year marks a big improvement from last year's 18 per cent decline from $169.6 million in 2011. Starting in 2013, however, the PLC market for Southeast Asia will enjoy yearly growth in the range of 5 per cent, with revenue amounting to $178.5 million by 2017.

Indonesia showed the strongest growth in 2012 for the PLC market in the region. In comparison, the more economically developed countries, such as Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand, were the most affected by the general decline of the global PLC trade. This year, however, all six distinct PLC marketsincluding Vietnam and the Philippinesare set for expansion.

PLCs are generally deployed in electromechanical processes, such as factory automation or assembly lines. Microprocessors can be found in the machines, which must be able to withstand harsh environments like constant vibration or high noise levels.

The oil and gas industry remains the largest market for PLCs in the region. In Malaysia, many mid-range and high-end PLCs are used in the large-volume production of palm oil, fed mostly by government investments. Meanwhile, large PLCs are used in the oil and natural gas industry in Indonesia.

Another significant end market for is automotive, with Thailand's industry requirements for PLCs increasing after the country was hit by severe flooding in 2011.

A third vital end market is agriculture. Thailand and Indonesia are the biggest contributors to this sector, and advanced PLCs will be required to produce innovative food processing and packaging components, targeted at local consumption and exports alike.

Aside from the three industries above, other end markets for PLCs in Southeast Asia are those serving domestic demand, including water treatment as well as power and energy.

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