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Fine-tuning the control technology determining for the first time

Fine-tuning the control technology at the machines is at the centre of interest of the machine-builders for the first time. This means improvements of the consisting control technologies instead of changing them.

Fine-tuning determining for the first time since 2003

Changes of the control technology in 2010
MP = Microprocessor control, P = Panel with integrated control, C = contactor-based technology

March 29th, 2010 - Fine-tuning means that the change-willing machine-builders are improving the consisting control technology at the machines instead of changing to another control technology.


However, during the passed years change-willing machine-builders had been concentrating on changes of the technology. Technology changes in kind of changing from the PLC to the PC or from micro-processor controls to the PC or from the contactor- based control technology to the PLC and so on.


The machine-builders’ changes created substitution-threatened, stable and attractive positions of the control technologies shown in the article „Technological change from the user’s point of view” in the Quest Trend Magazine regarding the year 2009.


This technological change is taking a back seat this year for the first time since 2003. The consisting control technology remains predominantly stable in the use and is to be improved.

23% of the machine-builders intend changes

With 23% almost each fourth investigated machine-builder intend changes at the control technology of the machines. In the previous year this value achieved with 27% its maximum value since 2003. Thereby the fine-tuning is in the foreground as stated.

PC - fine-tuning and change

The PC technology profited relatively at the strongest from the changes during the past years. It substituted other control technologies, above all the PLC.


The PC technology will be substituting other control technologies this year as well. This intends even the majority of the machine-builders, which want to change the PC technology at all. But the number of machines, at which the PC technology will substitute other control technologies, is comparatively very low. It only accounts for a proportion of 9% compared with the proportion of 89% of the machines that are selected for fine-tuning of the PC technology. At 2% of the machines the PC will be substituted.

  • „One retains the PC technology, however, will change from keyboard to touch-screen and to higher performance.“ (Textile machines)
  • One will implement a better PC technology from X that was previously used from Y.“ (Printing/paper handling machines)
  • „One will change from PC to a PC with integrated panel and to Linux.“ (Packaging machines)

Fine-tuning with other control technologies

70% of the machines, the machine-builders want to change the PLC, are subject to fine-tuning of the PLC instead of changing it:

  • „Distributed PLC will increasingly more strongly be used with many small PLC for various distributed tasks instead of one big PLC.“ (Conveyor)
  • „This year a new PLC generation will be introduced as soon as the platform is ready and then 50% of the machines will be equipped with it, however, this could become not until 2011.“ (Machine tools)
  • „Previously one used a PLC and a separate safety engineering from X. As a change a safety-related PLC from Y will be used.“ (Building/glass/ceramic machines)


The same picture shows up with microprocessor controls. Last year still substitution-threatened, this year 97% of all machines with this control type are subject to improvements by change-willing machine-builders using this control type.

  • „In-house developed microprocessor control is used and a new system for 20 versions will be introduced.“ (Rubber/plastics machines)


The CNC confirms its continuing stability for years.


Control panels with integrated control system are winning new machines and new users as only control type.

Representative results

These results are based on the actual study of Quest TechnoMarketing „What the machine-builder want to change in the automation technology 2010“. They are representative because 36% of the machine-builders with 100 and more employees in 10 sectors took part that is scarcely 250 machine-builders.


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