Research Notes

"Service is the fastest growing segment of the automation industry," says Larry O'Brien, director of research, process industries for the ARC Advisory Group ( "The vast pools of engineering expertise that used to exist at major user companies have shrunk to critically low levels. Many of the automation services that are required throughout the life cycle of a plant or factory can no longer be performed in house." So now, users are looking to product vendors for these critical services. And that is why the worldwide market for supplier-provided automation services is expected to grow at a CAGR of 9.1% over the next five years. The market was $9.2 billion in 2003 and is forecasted to be close to $15 billion in 2008.

While project services are being increasingly outsourced to automation suppliers, the real benefits for customers lie in the increasingly broad spectrum of aftermarket services being offered for ROI and asset utilization. This is good for suppliers too, as adoption of standard commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) products and components eliminated most of the proprietary competitive advantage that automation suppliers could build in. Services are now a lucrative business addition.

In the magnetic sensor arena, multinational companies are intensifying competition by expanding product portfolios and entering new markets through consolidations—and the overall field of suppliers is strategizing to outdo rivals by offering attractive prices and focusing on niche applications. That's the finding of a new report by Frost & Sullivan (, World Magnetic Sensor Components, and Modules/Subsystems Market. The study notes that the magnetic sensors market is also likely to witness a growth in revenues, which is expected to be fueled by the increased use of antilock braking systems (ABS) and navigation tools such as global positioning systems in the automotive industry.

Another research report asks and answers: What advanced technologies are vehicle manufacturers likely to adopt or reject during the next five years? Are these new technologies likely to be accepted by U.S. consumers? What groups of consumers are considering purchasing new technologies and what are they willing to pay for them? Where are various new technologies at in the consumer adoption life cycle?

Harris Interactive Automotive & Transportation Research's new study measures U.S. consumers' reactions to advanced automotive technologies. Harris Interactive's AutoTechCast study ( details adoption likelihood of more than 50 advanced technologies, most of them sensor based.