A Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) is a form of ruggedized computer used in industries for automation. They are programmed to automate specific processes, machine functions and sometimes the entire production line. PLCs receive information and data from connected input devices and process these data and trigger output upon their programmed instructions. Based on incoming inputs and outputs, real-time insights into machine productivity, the temperature can be measured and the processes can be automated. They are flexible and are controlled by robots, which are easily adaptable.
In PLCs, the distribution network is completely controlled by the vendors. They have control over the use and selling of the licenses. In these models, vendors have the power to decide how many PLC hardware or personal computers can use a specific type of software. Sometimes, these vendors have control over fixing the cap on a number of data points, or functions helpful in capturing data to control the machine. In these licensing packages, more than often supplementary offerings like maintenance contracts, technical support or software upgrades are not covered. Thus, the PLC vendors in the market, especially in North America, have power over the entire sales terms.
According to the report North America Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC) Market by Architecture, Product, Industry Vertical and Country 2014-2025: Segment Analysis, Trend Forecast, and Business Strategy gives a detailed analysis and data for annual revenue which is available for 2014-2025. The breakdown of key national markets by product type and industry vertical over the forecast years are also included. The report consists of a competitor’s analysis and the predicted manufacture trend; and profiles PLC vendors including market leaders and important emerging players. Specifically, potential risks associated with investing in North America PLC market and industry is assayed quantitatively and qualitatively through GMD’s Risk Assessment System. The major players in the market are ABB Ltd., B&R Industrial Automation GmbH, Emerson Electric Co., General Electric Co., Hitachi, Ltd., Honeywell International Inc., IDEC Corporation, Mitsubishi Electric Corp., Omron Corporation, Robert Bosch GmbH, Rockwell Automation Inc., Schneider Electric SE, Siemens AG, and Yokogawa Electric Corporation.
Piracy in PLC is another matter of concern for the manufacturers as well as vendors. Thus, the thrust of preventing piracy has also been borne by the vendors by selling software in dongles that need to be plugged into PCs to be functional, providing activation access to the customers during the time of purchase and so on. The costs of PLCs are also open prices and are determined by parameters like data points, customer – loyalty discounts, software features, and so on. Another way how they generate revenues is by levying runtime license fee.
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Ankur Gupta, Head Marketing & Communications