How Solution Providers Can Capture the North American Terminal Automation Market
--- Integrated solutions and data management offer most valuable advantages to end-users
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Aug. 7, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- An increase in oil and gas (O&G) production in North America is expected to spur investments in new terminal infrastructure and further enforce modernization and retrofit additions in existing chemical terminals. While the rise in brownfield projects will allow for more diversified product portfolios for terminal automation, including field devices, controllers and software, the development of greenfield terminals will boost demand for custom terminal automation systems that streamline operational activities, custody transfers and inventory management. However, the North American terminal automation market is likely to witness a slow compound annual growth of 5.5 percent from 2013-2020 as capital expenditure for automation is lower than for upstream exploration and downstream refinery operations.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Analysis of the North American Terminal Automation Market, finds that the market earned revenues of $110.5 million in 2013 and estimates this to reach $160.4 million in 2020. The study covers solutions used to automate terminal operations in the O&G, industrial (chemical and petrochemical) and biofuel industries.
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Compared to other components in the O&G and chemical value chain, growth of automation in terminals lags behind as customers do not have a clear-cut business case to justify return on investment. A key area that solution providers can potentially target is data management for business applications, as otherwise, maintaining a local server at terminals incurs high costs.
"The advent of cloud-based technologies provides end users a cost-effective way to monitor business applications such as certification, transaction management and loading operations while still using an on-premise model for mission critical applications," said Frost & Sullivan Industrial Automation and Process Control Senior Research Analyst Rahul Vijayaraghavan. "Therefore, the software and services market is expected to offer greater opportunities than the commoditized hardware segment as end users look to outsource their in-house engineering capabilities."
To keep pace with this trend, solution providers are improving after-sales support and adding new rail and pipeline management tools to its existing software platforms. Custom-specific applications for varying terminal requirements are also making inroads in the market.
In addition, the integration of rail loading and unloading operations at the terminal, which includes utilizing various components such as real-time locating systems, global positioning satellites, ocular character recognition, and radio frequency identification, will become a standard in terminal automation systems.
"The North American terminal automation market is moving toward integrated packaged solutions that cater to application-specific requirements of terminal end users," noted Vijayaraghavan. "Centralized control and operations of all activity inside the terminal will improve efficiency and further strengthen the grounds for automation uptake in North American terminals."
Analysis of the North American Terminal Automation Market is part of the Industrial Automation & Process Control (http://www.industrialautomation.frost.com) Growth Partnership Service program. Frost & Sullivan's related studies include: Analysis of Global Automation and Control Systems (ACS) Market in the Upstream Oil and Gas (O&G) Industry, Automation Opportunities in the United States for the Upstream Tight Oil Market, Changing Tides in Offshore Oil and Gas Production: Subsea Automation Opportunities at the Ocean Floor, Automation Modernization Opportunities in the US Refinery Market. All studies included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.
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Source: Frost & Sullivan