Manufacturing AUTOMATION

HMI/SCADA market driven by new features, mobility and technology: study

January 15, 2013
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION

The global HMI/SCADA (Human Machine Interface and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) software and services market is experiencing good growth and evolutionary change, according to a new ARC Advisory Group study.

The marketplace is seeking HMI/SCADA software and services that enable convergence of industrial, building, and energy automation into a single information platform. There is also a desire for integrating HMI/SCADA software solutions with enterprise manufacturing intelligence (EMI) analytics to provide better visibility for all aspects of both plant and factory resource usage, the study found.

The study also found the market is making broader use of HMI/SCADA software visualization to improve business decision making, and distributing real-time data to all levels of the manufacturing organizations through workflow and other complementary technologies.

“Many companies are adopting the use of mobile devices, some of which are even owned by their employees as part of BYOD programs, for remote visualization, leveraging thin-client technologies and platforms for HMI/SCADA access from any global location. This trend is one of the driving forces for HMI/SCADA software and services market growth,” says ARC Vice President Craig Resnick, the principal author of ARC’s “Human Machine Interface Software and Services Global Market Research Study.”


Mobile devices based on, for example, Apple iOS and Google Android, will access HMI/SCADA software via a web browser, and much of that software will be based on Microsoft Server 2012, Server 2008, or Server 2003. Many end users and OEMs skipped Windows Vista entirely, moving directly from Windows XP to Windows 7. One of the differentiating value propositions that Windows 8 will bring to users is mobility. The study will cover these operating systems, along with Windows CE, as well as address how fast the adoption rate will be for HMI/SCADA software based on both Microsoft Windows 8 and Server 2012 operating systems through 2017.

Sustainability remains a driving force for HMI/SCADA software and services. One of the biggest benefits is the capability to tie all operations together to reduce overall raw material costs, providing savings to the entire enterprise. Energy is now viewed as a cost of goods sold (COGS) for each product produced, which make energy management a key driver to maximize profitability. Many of these functions and applications for sustainability and energy management are examples of the capabilities that enable HMI/SCADA software to provide collaborative intelligence solutions, an important topic that is addressed as part of this market study. These solutions also include, for example, productivity analytics, manufacturing intelligence, fault detection and diagnostics, and both production and process optimization.

End users and OEMs are also embracing the benefits of virtualization. The basic value proposition for virtualization is the reduction of the number of physical servers needed for a site’s computing needs. This trend has driven many partnerships with companies, such as VMware and Microsoft for HyperV, to develop and deploy software virtualization solutions. HMI/SCADA software should also support fault tolerant and disaster recovery solutions, as well as leverage the latest cyber security technologies. Fault tolerant and disaster recovery solutions often utilize cloud technologies, both private and public. The cloud and its role as part of HMI/SCADA software solutions are also addressed in this study.

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