As more process manufacturers transition from production-based systems to demand-driven systems, they are looking for assistance in increasing plant flexibility. Manufacturers need to become more agile to accommodate an increasing variety of products resulting in more frequent changeovers as well as shorter production runs. Companies are finding these solutions via real-time process optimization applications, causing this market to increase by 10% according to ARC Advisory Group.
The growth rate of the real-time process optimization and training (RPO) market will continue at an annual rate of 10% over the next five years according to ARC's report, "Real-time Process Optimization and Training Worldwide Outlook". The market was $670 million in 2005 and is forecasted to reach more than $1 billion.
RPO solutions can reduce process variability, improve product quality and allow operations to push constraints to the limit. Successful companies are driving out inefficiencies and attaining nearly flawless execution through the increased reliance on RPO solutions according to the report.
Although manufacturers have been using RPO solutions for many years, cost plays a large part in the decision to implement an RPO solution. Responding to this concern RPO suppliers have made a concerted effort to decrease implementation time and improve on-line service time by adding more sophisticated tools according to the report. Meanwhile, RPO suppliers are increasing the functionality of training simulators to enable them to perform more design and operational decision support tasks.
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