Test and measurement is a prerequisite for constant innovation and improvement in the development and manufacturing space. In turn, monitoring various operating conditions such as acceleration, pressure, temperature, magnetic field and frequency range while performing test and measurement tasks automatically necessitates a variety of sensors. As innovations in testing methods gather pace, the development of sensors used in test and measurement applications too will pick up.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Sensors in Test and Measurement, finds that the market earned revenues of €820m ($1.10 billion) in 2013 and estimates this to reach €1,14 billion ($1.53 billion) in 2020. The aerospace and defence as well as automotive industries will generate the maximum revenue due to the large number of applications involved, and the high cost of sensors used. Meanwhile, the installation of wind turbines, owing to the intensifying focus on renewable energy, will present opportunities for sensors in testing wind turbines. Product testing in consumer electronics is another avenue that promises high growth.
“As product design and development become more complex, the need for highly accurate, sophisticated sensors for test and measurement applications will increase,” said Frost & Sullivan Measurement and Instrumentation Senior Industry Analyst Sankara Narayanan. “The shift to smaller, lighter structures will also drive the demand for smaller, lighter electronic components, including sensors.”
However, innovations in core sensor technologies have not kept pace with developments in other areas such as instrumentation and sensor packaging. To expand market scope, proven experience of having met the requirements of demanding test and measurement end markets will be critical. Further, easy-to-use, dedicated sensor solutions that provide state-of-the-art measurement and monitoring will be mandatory irrespective of the end market.
It is important for sensor manufacturers to offer a wide configuration of sensors to support multiple applications. Maturing into a one-stop shop by supplying test equipment and associated software along with sensors will help vendors appeal to a larger consumer base.
“Moreover, sensors used in test and measurement are put to extreme working conditions involving high temperature and pressure,” noted Sankara Narayanan. “Therefore, manufacturers must be able to deliver both on-site and local technical, repair and calibration services to stamp their authority in the global market.”