Analysis of the Global Distributed Control System Market

  • March 2013
  • -
  • Frost & Sullivan
  • -
  • 150 pages

Downstream Refining Boom from Shale Gas and the European Economic Slowdown Balances Market Growth

This research study covers the market scenario for distributive control system solutions commonly known as DCS solutions. The market’s future architecture (hardware, software, and services) will be used for data acquisition, control, database storage, communications, and network software. Market drivers, restraints, and forecasts for different geographical regions are included as are the CEO's 360 degree prospective. This study provides insights for market intelligence for the time period 2009 to 2019. For the DCS market, Frost & Sullivan has taken into consideration the network control architecture found in highly-integrated industrial environments.

Executive Summary

• The distributed control system (DCS) market size for the base year (2012) is $X million and the market is expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of X percent over the next seven years (2012 to 2019).
• The downstream market for oil and gas is also expected to increase given an increase in refineries and distributed plants as more gas exports are expected during the forecast period.
• During the forecast period (2012 to 2019), the service segment will grow the fastest among all three segments (hardware, software, service) for DCS products. We will see prominent growth from the influence of maintenance and support services and moderate growth in implementation services.
• During the forecast period, an upswing for small DCS solutions in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region will occur because cost is a significant factor in end-user purchase behavior. This segment is expected to grow the fastest during the forecast period.
• The DCS solution architecture is progressively moving from a distributed architecture to a collaborative architecture structure.
• A major concern for DCS solution providers is to balance the open architecture of DCS solutions with the ensuing cyber security issues.
• Top trends in customer buying behavior include the following:
- North America (NA) seeks new technology; hence, it is more value focused.
- EMEA is conservative regarding the use of new technology, expresses more interest in upgrading, and focuses acutely on cutting investments in capital expenditures.
- APAC is extremely cost centric and selects solutions by evaluating the total initial deployment costs involved.

Chief Executive Officer’s Perspective

1. Competitive: The DCS market is primarily driven by the major Tier I automation participants in the market. To increase market share, a go-to-market strategy should be strategic alliances with regional system integrators.
2. Customer: End users seek more open architecture-based solutions for easier deployment. Hence, research and development (R&D) is anticipated to focus more in this direction without compromising with cyber security issues.
3. Integrated Industry: DCS solutions primarily depend on a customer-centric portfolio. In the long run, small DCS solution providers face threats from distributed SCADA architecture.
4. Technology: The DCS market is moving from distributed architecture to a more collaborative architecture.
5. Global: Shale gas boom is expected to increase growth opportunities for upstream and downstream oil and gas markets. Hence, this particular current scenario is expected to increase the number of Proportional Integral Derivative controller usage associated with DCS architecture.
6. Best Practices: Developing industry-specific prebuild solutions; moving from distributed architecture to collaborative architecture; integrating with more auxiliary legacy solutions.
7. Economic: Shale gas boom (chemical refineries) in North America, European economic slowdown, Brazil, Latin America slowdown, oil and gas boom in Russia.

Geographical Regions Covered

NA: Canada and the United States.
EMEA: Countries in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.
APAC: India, China, Japan, South Korea, Southeast Asia, Australia, and New Zealand.
ROW: Latin America, the Commonwealth of Independent States, and Russia.


A distributed control system (DCS) is a network control architecture found in highly integrated industrial environments. A DCS can range from a single controller and operator workstation to large systems incorporating multiple controllers and workstations. In general, a DCS has multiple controllers that interact with one another by sharing a common network/database to control I/O devices.
The controller is integrated with I/O cards placed in a control cabinet. I/O cards can be remotely located and can interact with the controller through network interface modules. The controller, along with the communication card, has widespread computational capabilities in addition to proportional (P), proportional and integral (PI), proportional, integral, and derivative (PID) that support logical and sequential controls. All of the components of the DCS communicate and interact through communication protocols such as a fieldbus.
A DCS does not have power limitations and has the ability to execute computing with low power consumption. A DCS architecture has a highly distributed field bus that enables this architecture to monitor plant assets and processes using various controllers.
A small DCS is defined as a process control system with interacting component objects, each of which has a persistent local state and one or more threads of control with not more than X I/O points. In a small DCS, network architectures allow effective communications, remote access, and enterprise-wide integration. New, small DCS are sufficient to fully integrate plant process control systems. A mid DCS is defined as a process control system with interacting component objects, each of which has a persistent local state and one or more threads of control with more than XI/O points. These systems have X to X I/O points. A large DCS is defined as a system consisting of more than X I/O points. Given the engineering and hardware capabilities required, only large automation and control giants can manufacture, install, and provide the adequate services needed to support large functionality. The base year for the study is 2012 and the forecast period for the study is from 2013 to 2019.

Key Questions this Study Attempts to Answer

• Is the global DCS market growing? How long will it continue to grow and at what rate?
• What are the key factors that will drive the growth of the DCS solution market?
• What are the restraints faced by market participants? What is the expected impact?
• What are the major end-user industries for DCS solutions? How are they expected to grow during the forecast period?
• Which end users are expected to show good growth? What is their share among the various end-user segments?
• Who are the major industry participants? What is their relative position in the global DCS market?

Table Of Contents

Table Of Contents

1. Executive Summary
2. Market Overview
3. Total Distributed Control System Market
• External Challenges: Drivers and Restraints
• Forecast and Trends
• Market Share and Competitive Analysis
• Mega Trends and Industry Convergence Implications
4. CEO’s 360 Degree Perspective on the Distributed Control System Industry
5. Hardware Segment Breakdown
6. Software Segment Breakdown
7. Service Segment Breakdown
8. Small Distributed Control System Segment Breakdown
9. Mid Distributed Control System Segment Breakdown
10. Large Distributed Control System Segment Breakdown
11. North America Breakdown
12. EMEA Breakdown
13. APAC Breakdown
14. Rest of World Breakdown
15. Forecast Period Trends—From an Analyst’s Viewpoint
16. The Last Word
17. Appendix

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