End-user Concerns Slow Wireless Adoption by Discrete Manufacturers in Europe

Despite the many benefits of wireless devices, European manufacturing end-users are not convinced about the robustness of wireless transmission, study says.

Aw 1578 0901wireless

The need for real-time data, workforce mobility, easy installation, and commissioning are the key drivers for wireless adoption across discrete industries such as automobile, food and beverages, and plastics. Despite the sizeable potential, however, concerns related to reliability, security, and interoperability are hindering uptake levels in European markets, says a recent report from international consulting firm Frost & Sullivan (www.industrialautomation.frost.com).

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, “Wireless Devices Market in Factory Automation,” finds that industrial wireless markets in Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom produced revenues of more than $75.2 million in 2008, and estimates this to reach $132.8 million in 2012. End-user segments covered in the research include: automobile, food and beverages, plastics, semiconductor, and fabricated metal.

“The need to continually track the production process is important in discrete industries, as wireless devices constantly monitor the process flow by providing real-time data in less time with minimal effort,” says Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Khadambari Shanbagaraman. “Wireless devices function on a ‘plug-and-play’ basis, inherently assuring flexibility and convenience compared to traditional wired networks.”

Yes, but…

Concerns about reliability, security and interoperability are restraining wireless adoption across various end-user industries. Despite the many benefits of wireless devices, end-users are not convinced about the robustness of wireless transmission and are unwilling to take a risk investing in it, the study says. Technical issues such as signal mismatch, data loss, electromagnetic induction, and disturbances from existing networks are concerns for wireless reliability. Besides, the conservative mindset of the food and beverages, and plastics industries is also hindering the uptake of wireless devices, according to Frost & Sullivan.

“Vendors should undertake effective initiatives to spread awareness about wireless technology and educate end-users on the range of wireless applications and their benefits,” concludes Khadambari. “Technical problems need to be solved so that end-users will realize their investments in wireless devices due to the long-term gains they offer.”

Frost & Sullivan

Subscribe to Automation World's RSS Feeds for News

More in Control