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Local PLC suppliers battle with global giants in Asia

22 June, 2007

The global market for PLCs is expanding at around 5% a year and will be worth more than $9bn by 2011, according to a new study. Although the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) region is still the largest market for PLCs, the Asia-Pacific region is expanding faster, with an projected compound annual growth rate of 7.9% over the five-year period to 2011.

According to the study, by the market analyst IMS Research, the Asia-Pacific market is exhibiting different trends to other parts of the world. For example, unlike other regions, where suppliers have been focusing on improving price-performance ratios and developing new application areas for PLCs, price is the key issue for most customers in the Asia-Pacific zone. This has led to the emergence of local suppliers offering limited-function PLC products at prices that the large global suppliers cannot beat.

The larger global suppliers prefer to sell PLCs as part of complete systems and are trying to hold their prices, IMS reports. It adds that these suppliers are succeeding in Asia-Pacific by targeting a different group of customers to those buying the simple, low-cost products.

The larger suppliers are hoping that the Asia-Pacific market will follow the changes that have occurred elsewhere – most importantly, the trend for customers to buy automation products as part of complete systems. If this happens, it could limit the potential for local suppliers which are trying to sell PLCs as component products, IMS suggests.

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