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Electronic security technology: the industry grows with the demand for connected systems in buildings and infrastructure

Nov 6, 2017

The electronic security system industry grows as demand for connected intelligent systems in buildings and public spaces (smart building) increases. In 2016 revenue rose by 6.2 percent to around € 3.95 billion. According to June 2017 surveys by the security division of the German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers’ Association (Zentralverband Elektrotechnik- und Elektronikindustrie e.V. – ZVEI) and the German Association for Security Technology (BHE Bundesverband Sicherheitstechnik e.V.), the market for electronic security technology showed, as in previous business years, consistent revenue growth.

In the previous year revenue continued to grow significantly in the three main segments of preventive fire protection and/or fire alarm technology, burglary and robbery alarm technology and video and surveillance technology. According to these figures, revenue in fire alarm technology grew by 6.8 percent in 2016 to € 1.8 billion. This segment continues to be the biggest area of security technology investment and is heavily dependent on construction industry demand.

Further reason for the continued growth of security technology revenues is, according to Uwe Bartmann, Head of the industry association branch  Security of the ZVEI, the increased need for safety and security. Thus, the industry segment video technology grew by 8.0 percent up to to € 511 million last year. High growth was again recorded in burglary and robbery alarm technology – also with an increase of eight percent to € 800 million. Access control systems rose to a figure of € 307 million which represented an increase of 4.8 percent, while the revenue growth for voice alarm technology was down a little, growing by 5.3 percent to € 100 million. Smoke and heat extraction systems along with call systems in accordance with DIN VDE 0834 were stable at a revenue figure of € 40 million.

Whilst burglary and robbery alarm technology has seen demand increase over many years from the private home owner, the call for increasing networking and digitalisation has had a positive effect in the commercial sector.

Quelle: ZVEI / BHE Erhebung 06-2017
Quelle: ZVEI / BHE Erhebung 06-2017

The development of connected security systems and new solutions for building and infrastructure security needs a scientific basis to enhance the objective assessment which includes aspects of perimeter protection, secure information technologies and innovative mechatronics. Professor Kai-Dietrich Wolf, who heads up the Institute for Security Systems (ISS) at the University of Wuppertal, focusses on fundamental technical and social issues relating to people and infrastructure security. “Today it is impossible to imagine a building access system that does not have digital and biometric authentication procedures, as established in the IT sector. However, how secure are these systems to provide protection from criminal intervention or abusive archival of user and activity profiles by commercial companies? Connected security systems require highest security levels of IT and data protection.”

Uwe Bartmann sees the long-term growth in the digitalisation and networking of security technology with other services. “Electronic security technology will become an integral component in the smart home and smart building. Security technology sensors provide new possibilities of data acquisition.” The expectation is that these can become the basis to developing new services and business models.

Next year the Intersec Forum, conference for connected security technology, offers the sector an overview of these new trans-industry and trans-technological developments, from product innovations and ground-breaking application examples to total solutions and business models to integrate them technically with other services such as sensors, RFID, mechatronics, building automation, architecture and technical building services. The German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers´ Association (Zentralverband Elektrotechnik- und Elektronikindustrie e.V. – ZVEI) is partnering the event.

The conference programme features all the aspects of networking technical security systems in modern buildings that are currently relevant. It groups them under the main headings: sector dialogue for planners and installers; sector dialogue for operators, facility managers and manufacturers; fire alarm technology and fire protection; access control and surveillance technology; Innovation dialogue smart access; IT and cyber security. The lectures will be held in English and German.

This will be the third time the Intersec Forum has been held. Taking place from 19 to 23 March 2018, the forum has now developed both in terms of its length and its thematic breadth to be even more relevant for an international audience. Alongside top speakers from Germany, there will be contributions for the first time from security technology experts from the growth regions of Europe and Asia as well as the United Arab Emirates.

Every year the Intersec Forum, the conference for connected security technology, meets under the banner of ‘Security meets Smart Building: Digitalisation and Security in the Building of the Future’; it is held concurrently with leading trade fairs, Light + Building and the ISH. In March 2018 the Intersec Forum moves to trade fair Hall 9.1 in direct proximity to Light + Building, the world’s leading trade fair for light and building technology. In Hall 9.1, Light + Building will bring together for the first time its usual, strong exhibitor product offering in the fields of home and building automation and electrically-powered security technology with the new special show, ‘SECURE! Connected Security in Buildings’. This special show features practical application scenarios which create a bridge to the Intersec Forum and its visionary content.

The Intersec Forum takes place Monday to Friday at the trade fair with participation in the conference included in the price of the visitor ticket to Light + Building. Participants can register on the day in Hall 9.1. You can find further information about the Intersec Forum from 19 to 23 March 2018 (Monday to Friday) in Hall 9.1 on the Internet at: and at

The website provides information on Light + Building which takes place from 18 to 23 March (Sunday to Friday).

Safety, Security & Fire

Civil security is a growing market worldwide. Messe Frankfurt is one of the world’s leading organisers of trade fairs and congresses in this field. These security sector events take place in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Asia and in South America and offer the best possible access to these dynamic growth markets. More information at

Light + Building

Light + Building, the world’s biggest trade fair for lighting and building-services technology, opens its doors in Frankfurt am Main from 18 to 23 March 2018. Around 2,600 exhibitors present their latest products in the fields of lighting, electrical technology, home and building automation. Light + Building is an innovation trade fair. It brings together all electrically powered systems for building services and promotes integrated building planning with a spectrum of products unique in terms of its breadth and depth. The Light + Building family currently comprises twelve trade fairs worldwide – in Argentina, China, India, Russia and the United Arab Emirates. You can find information about these brands at:

Background information on Institute for Security Systems (Institut für Sicherungssysteme – ISS)

The Institute for Security Systems is an interdisciplinary research institute of the University of Wuppertal located in the city of Velbert. It concentrates on basic technical and social issues in order to protect people and infrastructures. Main fields of its interdisciplinary research are the scientific assessment of innovative security systems with respect to safety and security implications, reliability and efficiency. More information on:

Background information on ZVEI

The ZVEI - German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers' Association (Zentralverband Elektrotechnik- und Elektronikindustrie e.V.) represents the interests of 1,600 companies in the electrical industry and associated service companies in Germany. Every third innovation from the manufacturing sector in Germany has its roots in the electrical industry. The sector employs 853,000 people in Germany and more than 706,000 abroad. For more information go to

Background information on Messe Frankfurt

Messe Frankfurt is the world’s largest trade fair, congress and event organiser with its own exhibition grounds. With over 2,300 employees at some 30 locations, the company generates annual sales of around €647 million. Thanks to its far-reaching ties with the relevant sectors and to its international sales network, the Group looks after the business interests of its customers effectively. A comprehensive range of services – both onsite and online – ensures that customers worldwide enjoy consistently high quality and flexibility when planning, organising and running their events. The wide range of services includes renting exhibition grounds, trade fair construction and marketing, personnel and food services.
With its headquarters in Frankfurt am Main, the company is owned by the City of Frankfurt (60 percent) and the State of Hesse (40 percent).

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