U.S. demand for industrial controls is forecast to rise 2.9% annually through 2011 to $15.4 billion, according to Industrial Controls, a new study from The Freedonia Group Inc., a Cleveland-based market research firm. Gains will be supported by technological advancement of solid-state control products, which will help manufacturers remain competitive on a global scale. Growth will also stem from increasing strength in the aerospace and motor vehicle industries, as well as from a projected upturn in electrical and electronic product shipments. Among conventional controls, marine controls are expected to post notable gains, benefiting from the acceleration in military shipbuilding activity and strong national defense expenditures projected through 2011.

However, advances will be restrained by a relatively mature U.S. market for these products, as well as competition from personal computers programmed to perform control-related functions. Demand for advanced controls is expected to continue to grow more rapidly than that for conventional controls, as the advanced types provide superior performance and production capabilities. As these products become more technologically intricate, system integration services and industrial control software will continue to account for an increasingly large share of demand. For more information, visit www.freedoniagroup.com.