Human/machine interface (HMI) products have made rapid strides in the last decade in step with changing customer demands, and as the trend toward real-time factory intelligence gains widespread acceptance in industries, HMI software will continue to evolve, according to a new report from Frost & Sullivan.

From simply providing plant data on a mobile device, HMI now delivers real-time data and actionable insights to operators, the firm says. The resulting benefits, such as lower plant operation costs, higher process efficiency and greater energy efficiency will power the adoption of HMI software.

The market generated revenue of $2.94 billion in 2014 and the report estimates this will grow to $3.60 billion in 2018.

"The development of Industrie 4.0 in Europe and Smart Factory in the United States will create a future for the manufacturing sector wrapped around the convergence of applications,” Guru Mahesh, Frost & Sullivan industrial automation and process control research analyst, said in a statement. “As a result, the need to constantly innovate and reinvent components will propel the uptake of HMI in discrete sectors.”

Real-time intelligence and big data analytics are expected to revolutionize the HMI market, Mahesh said. “To capitalize on these opportunities, HMI vendors must meet the demand for innovative features and value-added services from end users in the global market,” he said.

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