The functional safety market is expected to register a CAGR of over 8.3% over the forecast period (2021 - 2026). Functional safety is applicable to all industries today, and it is increasing in demand, as manufacturers and end users look to mitigate risk further. With the growing use of automated equipment for manufacturing, test, and process control, the need to avoid equipment damage, injuries, and environmental damage is more critical than ever. Growing demands and expectations from governments and workers have led manufacturers and suppliers to use predictable ways to achieve and design equipment to meet certain safety requirements.
- The efficacy of the safety system is not based solely on regulatory and technical aspects but also an in-depth functional analysis of the organization, production processes, and the human factor. In the past, machinery safety was largely considered the cost.
- However, presently, safety technologies might be seen as an investment in business productivity. Products like safety switches and relays have become common. With the adoption of integrated technologies and approaches to safety, PLCs, and safety mechanisms, too, have witnessed widespread use while having a limited impact on system engineering and planning.
- Safety relays and safety controllers monitor the primary safety devices which protect personnel from accident and injury, ensuring safe stop and start functions on equipment with hazardous motion. Companies such as Omron, Rockwell, Sick, Eaton, and Pepperl+Fuchs, among others, are prominent providers of safety sensors and switches.
- In todayâ€™s scenario, it is a high priority to create a safer environment for everyone close to and working on electrical equipment. With this intention, safety switches have evolved to provide more robust protection for equipment and personnel. When equipment requires maintenance, safety switches manufacturers make it quick and easy to disconnect and/or reconnect the power. With the power disconnected, operators can safely work on the equipment downstream. There's no need to worry about coming in contact with live voltage.
- Safety switches are a necessity in all industrial applications, as per the National Electrical Code (NEC) established by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). According to NEC article 430.102B, a safety switch must be in sight from all motors or manufacturing equipment. The NEC defines â€œin sightâ€ as visible and not more than 50 feet from the equipment it controls.
- The manufacturing industry has shrunk significantly due to the pandemic as the industry faced unprecedented challenges in the supply chain and procurement of raw materials, which resulted in significant losses for manufacturers. Few industries, such as food & beverage and pharmaceutical, were deemed essential by governments.
- The COVID-19 outbreak and lockdown restrictions across the world have affected industrial activities across the world. Some of the effects of lockdown include supply chain disruptions, lack of availability of raw materials used in the manufacturing process, labor shortages, fluctuating prices that could cause the production of the final product to inflate and go beyond budget, shipping problems, etc. â€‹From the demand perspective, industries, such as oil and gas, are being challenged by the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak. Owing to this, producers have rapidly slashed capital spending and drilling programs. The pandemic has impacted the progress of several projects, resulting in pipelines getting stalled or delayed.
Key Market Trends
Safety Sensors is Expected to Hold a Significant Share
- Vendors such as Omron Corporation, Rockwell Automation, Inc., SICK AG, Pepperl+Fuchs, ABB Ltd., and Panasonic Electric Works Co., Ltd. (Panasonic Corporation) provides various safety sensors.
- Safety Sensors are used for machine guarding/ personnel protection, for perimeter monitoring and body part protection, or protect hazardous areas. These sensors detect the presence of humans within a specified area and reduce the possibilities of accidents, which can be achieved through tripping function or presence detection.
- Personnel protection is becoming important in automated processes. Wherever machines perform high-risk movements, relevant health and safety regulations must be observed. Even if the operator is momentarily distracted, crushing, shearing, and impact injuries must be prevented.
- Stringent safety regulations by the government are driving the growth of the safety sensors. For instance, the specifications and safety requirements posed by the safety associations are putting pressure on end-user industries to increase their safety investments further.
- For instance, the European Union (EU) strategic framework (2014â€“2020) for workplace health and safety integrates a series of actions to prevent occupational hazards. There is an intense concern over policies to reduce workplace accidents and enhance working conditions. Emphasis is placed on risk prevention and mitigation of the consequences of occupational hazards so that each member country of the European Union develops sustainably.
- China issued new workplace safety rules in the year 2015, including the required facilities to conduct occupational hazard audits and detail their safety procedures. In India, four main legislations cover occupational safety and health at the workplace. The laws include The Factories Act (1948), The Mines Act (1952), The Mines Rules (1955), The Dock Workers (Safety, Health, and Welfare), and the Building and Other Construction Workers Act (Regulations of Employment and Conditions of Service) (1996).
- Additionally, according to Safety Media, up to 1.3 million workers suffer from work-related illnesses. There are approximately 72,702 reported cases of employers experiencing non-fatal injuries while 144 workers suffered from fatal ones. Depending upon the age of the employee, the same incident or accident is more likely have a different impact on the employee. In the next few years, the population of workers aged over 55 and above is anticipated to increase considerably drawing attention of several organizations to automate their safety solutions.
United States to Witness Significant Growth Rate
- The United States is one of the largest markets for functional safety market globally. The country is renowned for its innovation capabilities and is at the forefront of prominent developments surrounding the emerging technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. New-found shale resources in the United States and an increasing number of oil and gas projects are an additional indicator of the market potential.
- Prominent vendors such as Honeywell, Rockwell, General Electric, and Banner Engineering Corp are headquartered in the country. In July 2020, Rockwell Automation announced a new family of safety controllers with key features to increase performance. The new SIL 3 controllers are an addition to Rockwell Automationâ€™s GuardLogix 5380 series.
- The government is also focusing on increasing its energy generation capacity, and the American government is investing in such projects. For instance, in July 2019, the US DOE (Department of Energy) announced the funding of USD 16 million for 14 tribal energy infrastructure deployment projects. And they also announced their plan to develop an environmental impact statement (EIS) to study the impacts of building a versatile nuclear test reactor in the United States.
- With the increasing stringency in the government regulations, the organization is concentrating on monitoring and control its carbon emission per product, which is expected to drive the demand for fire and gas monitoring systems in the country. There are currently over 20 major upcoming water treatment construction projects across the United States, each worth USD 5 billion on average.
- PLCs are widely applied in the upstream, midstream, and downstream oil and gas sectors in the United States. In the upstream sector, its role is often stereotyped as being mainly in support of remote data transmission. However, due to the wide and varied use of PLCs, including safety solutions, demand for functional safety solutions PLC and DCS, among others are also estimated to increase in the forecast period.
The functional safety market is witnessing consolidation, and players are offering solutions specific to each application, such as fire safety (fire and gas monitoring and control), pressure safety (high-integrity pressure protection systems), and asset safety (emergency shutdown systems). The key players operating in the market are focusing on new product development strategies to strengthen their product portfolio and increase customer acquisition.
- July 2020 - Rockwell Automation announced a new family of safety controllers with key features to increase performance. The new SIL 3 controllers are an addition to Rockwell Automationâ€™s GuardLogix 5380 series.
- April 2020 - Sick announced that it is launching its newest ultra-compact safety laser scanner, nanoScan3. This new product combines smart safety functions with excellent measurement data quality for accurate and reliable localization. This space-saving sensor can be used wherever the machine requires maximum performance but minimal mounting space.
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