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PLC sales plunged by 19% during 2009

18 January, 2010

Global PLC revenues plummeted by 19.1% last year, compared to 2008, and will not recover to 2008 levels until the second half of 2012, says a new report* from IMS Research. The analyst estimates that the world market for PLCs and associated software and services fell to just over $7.8bn last year with no region being immune from the effects of the economic downturn.

Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) – the largest market for PLCs – has been the most badly affected. The main reason for this is that Germany, the most important market for PLCs in the EMEA region, suffered the biggest contraction during the global recession. After a sharp decline in German exports, improvement is forecast to be slower than elsewhere, especially until the middle of 2010.

The 2009 market contraction was least marked in Asia and this market is forecast to grow the fastest with a CAGR of 6% over the period 2008–2013. IMS attributes this to improved prospects in China and India, in part reflecting substantial macroeconomic stimulus, and to a faster-than-expected turnaround in capital flows.
PLC revenues contracted “painfully” in almost all sector of industry during 2009, IMS reports. However, a few markets were less affected by the downturn, including electrical power, transport and water treatment, which support infrastructure development. These markets were helped by various government stimulus packages, which created new demand for automation products such as PLCs.

Sectors closely associated with consumer goods – such as those producing machinery for packaging, and for the food, beverage and tobacco industries – and a few emerging sectors, such as renewable energy, also helped to sustain demand for PLC products. These sectors are all forecast to grow globally over the period 2008–2013.
According to IMS, the consensus of many major PLC suppliers is that market recovery will begin slowly in 2010 as government investment filters through to more of the discrete and process industries that use PLCs. However, this recovery is unlikely to be V-shaped, and 2010 will remain challenging for PLC suppliers.

* The Worldwide Market for PLCs – 2009 Edition

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