The newest version of Arc Advisory Group's Supplier Provided Automation Services Worldwide Outlook study reports the total worldwide market for these services had expanded to close to $17.3bn ?(£615m) at the end of 2008, despite adverse conditions in the automation marketplace, and will increase by a compound annual growth rate of 7% over the next five years.
Arc identified services as the fastest growing automation market segment in 2008.
The report cites several results of the current economic crisis as contributing factors to the growth of the automation services sector, such as postponed capital projects, massive job reductions across all industries, and slowdowns in developing economies such as China and Latin America. Services provided by automation suppliers help end users take advantage of resident supplier expertise to reduce plant maintenance costs, operating costs and project costs, as well as fill the engineering and knowledge gap left by dramatic reductions in the end user workforce. The report noted that that ability to provide outsourced maintenance services was as a key factor in market leadership.
ABB maintained its leading worldwide market position. "As the largest automation services supplier, ABB offers its customers one of the broadest ranges of traditional and expanded service across the plant lifecycle, from field services, system evolution planning, engineering, and consulting to complete outsourced maintenance services, as well MAC and project management capabilities," said Larry O'Brien, research director for Process Industries, ARC. "ABB's ability to reach into the entire scope of plant automation, combined with extensive resident industry knowledge and resources, put ABB in a good position to help their customers improve all aspects of operations."