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Electronics Production | January 03, 2005

Open HMI Displays strong growth

IMS Research forecasts that the worldwide market for open HMIs will more than triple over the next five years. The market was estimated to be worth $48.8 million in 2003, and is projected to rise to $151.3 million by 2008 at a CAGR of 25.4%.
Open HMIs are human machine interfaces that use an open operating system, typically Windows CE. The number of companies offering these products has grown in recent times and the resultant rise in available products, coupled with the increased level of marketing, will continue to educate users and raise their awareness of open HMIs. These factors account for a large proportion of the forecast growth. Open HMIs fill a gap in the market between traditional proprietary HMI products and fully open industrial panel PCs. Open HMIs offer increased functionality and flexibility over traditional HMIs at a lower cost than industrial PCs.

Open HMIs enable the user to configure the product to a particular application by accessing the operating system and scaling it to meet their needs. These products also offer some advanced functionality over traditional HMI products with improved data handling and standard interfaces and communications.

IMS Research senior analyst and report author, Tim Dawson commented: “Most manufacturers believe that open HMIs will allow new applications to be targeted, although they will also “cannibalise” some current HMI sales. In fact, certain specialist HMI manufacturers believe that open HMIs will form as much as half of their unit shipments in five years time, almost completely replacing sales of their larger screen products in particular.”

Dawson continues: “Although the future looks bright, users are required to invest time and effort in configuring the product. Many will continue to prefer traditional HMIs with an embedded operating system that provides a more plug-and-play type solution. It is this that limits the future potential for open HMIs.”

IMS Research is a specialist supplier of market research and consultancy services on global electronics markets. Information from IMS Research is used by major companies worldwide to assess market trends, solve marketing problems, and improve the efficiency of their businesses. IMS Research is an international company, selling in more than 35 countries around the world and supported by offices in Wellingborough, UK and Austin, Texas. IMS Research regularly publishes detailed research on automation and industrial control markets, including PLCs, HMIs, industrial PCs, machine vision, Ethernet and fieldbuses.

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