by hearingearly hearingearly

RUNTO previously published “Global Industrial Control HMI Market Brand Landscape”, which mainly analyzed the HMI (Human Machine Interface) market, while this article focuses on the PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) and the associated dedicated display panel market.

Global environmental changes drive industrial control automation into a stable development phase

From the second half of 2022, the European manufacturing industry will move out extensively, characterized by migration to regions with smart manufacturing and stable energy supply. 2023 to 2025, typical manufacturing countries and regions around the world will coincidentally show a unified feature: reducing the proportion of high energy-consuming industries and moving excess capacity out.

In mainland China, the first supply-side reform from 2015 began to influence the transformation of labor-intensive industries. 2020, the double carbon target is proposed, and the pace of green and low-carbon transformation of industries is accelerated to improve technology and process levels thus releasing advanced production capacity. In 2023, the economic order will be gradually restored and the industrial upgrading policy will be implemented to further promote the transformation of China’s manufacturing industry to “high-end, intelligent and green”.

Based on the above environment, the global and Chinese industrial control automation demand is entering an absolutely stable stage, further solidifying the market demand for display terminals used in industrial control field.


Small PLC scale up 6%, adapted to HMI display terminal annual demand of 1.09 million units

PLC as the core of industrial control management, the change in its market size symbolizes the development trend of industrial control automation industry. Compared with the high technical barriers of medium and large PLCs, which are often monopolized by European and Japanese manufacturers, domestic industrial control companies have invested more energy and resources to seize the market share of small PLCs first, with flexible HMI solutions as the entry solution for control modules.

According to RUNTO data, in the first half of 2023, China’s small PLC market size of more than 4.8 billion yuan, up 6%. Among them, the penetration rate of localized products reached 52.3%.

In general, the domestic small PLC does not come with its own display terminal, in use, it needs to be paired with a certain percentage of general HMI monomer, the ratio is close to 7:4. In the first half of 2023, within the Chinese market, the market shipments of general HMI display terminal with small PLC is close to 570,000 units, and the annual estimate is 1.09 million units. the overall product solution of PLC collection HMI is led by the domestic brand Huichuan Technology Leading the way, Xinjie and Delta Electronics also have a strong advantage in the domestic market.

In fact, HMI monoblock is divided into general-purpose, PLC-specific models, and keypad models. 2022 global HMI monoblock overall market size of 10.346 million units, an increase of up to 6.8%; of which, the Chinese market shipments reached 2.937 million units, accounting for 28.4% of the global market.

In 2022, the global market, including display and key PLC control terminal scale reached 1.096 million units, of which the scale of the Chinese market accounted for about 60% of the global overall. 2023 in the first half of the year, China’s PLC terminal shipments including display and key reached 400,000 units, the annual estimate of 760,000 units, an increase of 15.6%.


HMI display panel to 7/10.1 inch mainly, PLC panel to 4.3/7 inch mainly

Upstream panel factory for industrial control specifications lcd panel and industrial control panel definition is slightly different. 2018 years ago, the panel industry for different application scenarios of the product definition is relatively clear, and then with the sudden progress of the commercial display industry, commercial use of advertising machines, cash registers, self-service machines, fitness equipment, amusement equipment, etc. for display products reliability requirements and industrial specification display products are basically similar. After tacitly integrating resources, panel makers are gradually blurring the product boundaries divided by scenes. RUNTO regards the current industrial standard panels as a large full set, which can be internally divided into three application subsets: typical industrial control, industrial control-like, and pan-industrial control.

HMI products as typical industrial control use interactive windows, applicable to a variety of industrial uses, can be used with PLC, DCS, etc. as control windows, but also with PC as data collection and processing windows, etc. With the improvement of system compatibility of domestic HMI, HMI solutions provided by domestic brands represented by Huichuan and Kunlun Tongtai can already be compatible with PLCs of foreign brands, and with the continuous improvement of compatibility, the number of general-purpose HMIs will continue to rise.

Among HMI display terminals, panel sizes are relatively concentrated, with 7-inch products as the main products, accounting for about 35%; followed by 10.1-inch products, accounting for about 21%. Among the 7-inch products, Tianma, a traditional industrial control panel factory, accounts for the largest proportion. 10.1 inches are mainly AUO products. From the perspective of industry development trends, in the next 3 to 5 years, HMI will still be dominated by 7-inch and 10.1-inch products.

The panel shipment sizes of PLC control terminals including display and buttons are mainly 7 inches and 4.3 inches. According to RUNTO data, in 2022, 7-inch PLC products will account for 21.3% of shipments, and 4.3-inch PLC products will account for 78.7%.


Significance of slow-variable industries to display panel makers

In recent years, under the background of continuous pressure on the TV and commercial display panel business, panel makers are actively exploring new scenarios and applications, focusing on the development of the industrial control display terminal market, and developing small-size products such as smart home, white appliances, and kitchen appliances. aspects of application.

RUNTO believes that the market development of typical industrial control display terminal products is similar to the cycle of the industrial control automation industry. It is a very typical slow variable industry with a long product iteration cycle and requires long-term patient penetration and development. If the newly entered panel factories need to generate economic benefits in a short period of time, it is recommended to develop industrial control markets, such as amusement equipment and self-service equipment, which are more suitable for rapid entry.