The advent of the Internet of Things (IoT) has given rise to the prefix “smart” within the industrial world. Pneumatics is a well-established technology that will continue to be favored for a wide variety of applications owing to its inherent safety, simplicity, and reliability. With the rise of IIoT and Industry 4.0, smart pneumatics has assumed a greater importance today. Manufacturers have realized that developing smart pneumatic components is necessary to address the current demand for energy-efficient products and to remain competitive in the market. Smart pneumatics are pneumatic equipment, most commonly valves and actuators, which incorporate sensors and communications technology to provide operational feedback to controller units.
The global smart pneumatics market was valued at USD 3.3 billion in 2018 and is projected to reach USD 4.6 billion by 2023, at a CAGR of 6.7% from 2018 to 2023. The growth of this market is driven by growing awareness toward predictive maintenance, penetration of digitization and IIoT, and need for wireless infrastructure to maintain/monitor equipment in plants.
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Emerson Electric (US) and Festo AG & Co. KG (Germany) are the 2 key players in the smart pneumatics market.
Emerson Electric is one of the key players to offer pneumatic systems to a variety of end-user industries. The company provides automation solutions to process and discrete industries. By acquiring a leading smart pneumatics provider, Aventics GmbH, in July 2018, it has further cemented its market position. Its smart pneumatic monitor for industrial 4.0 applications facilitates real-time asset condition monitoring. The platform detects the condition of pneumatic systems by evaluating sensor data collected via I/O modules. It allows optimizing energy consumption of pneumatic systems and reducing machine downtime and operating costs. Over the past years, the company had focused on strategic product and technology development to strengthen its business and customer base.
Festo is a leading manufacturer of pneumatic and electromechanical systems, components, and controls for process control and factory automation. Festo extends its smart pneumatic solutions under its digital pneumatic portfolio. The company’s Festo Motion Terminal is a cyber-physical system with combined mechanics, electronics components, and software, which enables building intelligent machines. With intelligent sensors for control, diagnostics, and self-learning tasks already integrated, the system eliminates the need for implementing additional components. It includes Motion apps that provide a wide range of functions to maximize productivity. Besides, the company continuously invests in R&D, resulting in a large number of product launches and developments in various markets. In addition, Festo focuses on product and technology innovations to strengthen its market posture. In March 2017, Festo launched the VTEM Motion Terminal–a system intended to help transform a pneumatic product into an Industry 4.0 component. Major players in the smart pneumatics market also adopted strategies such as collaborations, agreements, partnerships, joint ventures, acquisitions, and expansions
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