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  • After the Semiconductor Crisis, How Will the Industrial Automation Market Fare?
tmmico5_wp January 31, 2023 0 Comments

At this moment, the shortage of components caused by the semiconductor crisis has affected all experts involved in industrial automation to varying degrees. Manufacturers are dealing with extremely long delivery times, as well as the inability to predict when the equipment would be accessible.

The electrical departments have been in a rage for a number of months, particularly at the start of the crisis when the terms of the suppliers grew dramatically and there was no choice but to «look for life» in order to be able to get rid of the manufacturing machinery. One instance involved a system that was almost entirely finished, but couldn’t be delivered to the customer because a header or an I/O module was lacking.

In 2023, what will happen? Everything seems to point toward the situation progressively getting better. The first reports indicate that the supply chain is becoming more efficient and that some brands are working additional shifts and even weekends to address the strong demand and mounting delays.

But in actuality, little appears to be changing for the better. Since infoPLC began a survey to gauge the state of the market more than a year ago, delivery times have remained incredibly protracted, with certain components taking over a year to arrive.

The industrial automation market as we previously understood it may be changing as a result of this catastrophe. Some of the effects it is having are as follows:

Opportunity for new emerging brands

Manufacturers of machinery and automation systems often get accustomed to dealing with their regular suppliers and push other providers to the side. It is exceedingly challenging for a corporation to switch from one brand of automation components to another when it already employs those components.

These crises gave less well-known and rising brands a great chance to enter new businesses because they had stock and were welcomed with open doors rather than the closed ones they had repeatedly tried to open.

Some businesses, primarily Asian brands, have captured a market share in a single year that, under normal circumstances, would have required many more years and efforts.

Two providers better than one

After this catastrophe, machine makers have realized the importance of having a backup supply, even if it means investing in engineering work to be able to have units ready under two separate brands.

Given the state of the world at the moment, it would be best to avoid future occurrences and draw lessons from the ones that have already occurred. The engineering and programming teams now see collaborating with many brands favorably.

Companies that have switched automation brands

Many businesses were forced to start dealing with other brands that did have stock of PLCs, Servos, Screens, etc. because they had to continue producing machines. Although switching brands is difficult, there is no other choice when there is none.

Starting with a different brand is difficult, but as you remove the machines, you get the hang of it, start to realize the advantages, and feel more at ease. How many of these businesses that changed their PLCs, displays, or servos will go back to using their previous brand? Although this is a mystery, it is evident that if the new brand delivers pricing, product, and service, it may stick with it and the previous brand may be partially or entirely dropped.

End customers who are no longer so brand-minded

In our industry, prescriptions have always been widely used. Every end user has a set of preferred manufacturers and models, and they insist that the equipment they purchase be built with the parts they specify.

Customers during this crises had two choices: accept a different brand and receive the machine right away, or wait 12 months for the PLC of the brand they chose. End users have been forced to adopt new brands that did not meet their requirements because of the necessity for computers.

This could indicate that the final consumer has realized they must expand their brand selection in order to avoid future issues.

Frankenstein machines

If you purchased a machine this year, it’s probable that it is a miniature Frankenstein created from many brands. Let’s put our faith in the technicians who had to perform “magic” in order to advance the machines. It’s possible that some of the machine’s components were assembled for the first time by the manufacturer of the machine, so it’s also possible that this machine isn’t as “refined” as it would be if the manufacturer had used its typical components.

The market will not be the same

The automation market as we know it is likely to alter as a result of the current crisis, as new brands have emerged, fast acquiring market share and becoming more prevalent than ever. They will be more open to collaborating with new options because their perspectives as machinery manufacturers and end users have also evolved, and they no longer need to rely on a single source.

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