Berg Insight just put out a research report that places 2013 worldwide shipments of cellular M2M devices in industrial automation at 760,000. The shipments are growing at a CAGR of 22.5%, and they estimate that in 2018, they will reach 2.1 million.
There are a lot of industrial automation and industrial network/cellular solution equipment manufacturers, including Eaton, Kontron, Advantech, B&B electronics, Moxa, Viola Systems, Digi, International, and Maestro Wireless.
It seems that the technology offerings from high-capacity LTE networks, remote monitoring, and network communications capabilities have created the perfect storm of opportunities for industrial M2M. No longer is automation a future event, as companies are scrambling to create flexible manufacturing and lean production to stay competitive.
Johan Svanberg, Berg Insight senior analyst, predicts that wireless M2M will play an instrumental role in connecting industrial resources, equipment, and systems. He explains that complex product mixes and high volatility in production volumes depend on actionable data that wireless M2M can provide.
Continuing to reduce human interaction in industrial control and factory automation will reign in costs and increase output. While the US and Europe are still the largest markets for automation, Asia Pacific and India continue to gain share, as do smaller players in emerging markets.
Recently Infonetics Research published its report on M2M, forecasting that the global revenue from M2M services would more than double between 2012 and 2017, from $15 billion to $31 billion. The report stresses the variety of access technologies -- cellular networks, personal area networks, wireless including Zigbee, Bluetooth, and IP500.
Citing 1.4 billion M2M connections in 2012 globally, there are approximately 190 million today -- a number expected to triple by 2017.