Global revenues for discrete machine safety components will exceed $2.15 billion in 2015, up from $1.5 billion last year, according to IMS Research estimates. Growth rates are forecast to be higher than those for general automation as in the majority of markets, machine builders and end-users are required to comply with the relevant legislation.

They have also taken onboard that machine safety is a way to increase productivity, rather than being a cost.

‘Although emerging standards are seen by some as a drain on resources, others increasingly see them as an opportunity,’ says Mark Watson, research manager at IMS Research and author of the report. ‘As discrete machine safety components have become more intricate and used in more complex applications, new standards are required to define emerging technologies and components. The benefits here include a wider adoption of programmable safety components, faster identification and rectification of safety-related problems, and increased productivity due to reduced downtime.’

As machine builders and end-users look to maximise competitive advantage, safety is becoming a key focus area, according to IMS Research.

If suppliers can provide safety components that can be easily integrated with control components, then overall system performance will increase. Machine safety should be marketed as a benefit because operators are protected from hazards and machine downtime is minimised.