Market for dimensional metrology faces growth spurt

September 12, 2014 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
The market for dimensional metrology is heading for a period with significant growth: By 2018 the market volume is expected to expand by more than 26 percent, predicts market researcher Frost & Sullivan. The demand is powered by the current trend to the next level of automation in the automotive industry.

Aravind Govinda, Frost & Sullivan senior research analyst, believes that the rapid introduction of higher automation levels in automotive production is one of the strongest drivers for the market of inline measurement technology. Several automotive OEMs and equipment providers in the segments of drivetrain and body manufacturing will soon replace existing manual measurement equipment (such as coordinate measurement machines, for example) by automated end-to-end inline measurement systems.

In the future, automated end-to-end inline measurement technology will be the preferred approach for the leading automotive OEMs: For carmakers, the degree of automation of their production lines will become a competitive factor, and these companies will try to leverage automation in the competition.

The study titled "Analysis of the Dimensional Market in the Automotive Industry" provides more details: In 2013, the global market for dimensional measurement technology had a volume of $949.2 million. By 2018, this volume is expected to rise to $1.2 billion, or 26.42 percent.

The volatile global economy and rising fuel prices continue to have a negative impact on the global automotive industry, the report states. In particular in the emerging economies, markets have proved to be rather susceptible to fluctuations, nurturing concerns among suppliers. This, in turn, affected the willingness to invest into dimensional measurement technology. "Fluctuating growth rates in the automotive industry also reduce the end customer's willingness to buy cars in the developed geographies", Govindan explains. "For instance, sales of cars in Germany declined in 2013 by 4.1%. Currently the decline continues at slower pace, but overall sales is affected adversely through a lack of consumer credits".

Small and medium vendors of dimensional measurement technology products, in particular in the Asia / Pacific region have even reduced the sales prices for their products to master this challenge and help to rise sales. But since this move helped them to remain competitive, it reduced their profitability and thus negatively impacted the entire market for dimensional measurement technology.