Sensors start to shrink

A recent Frost & Sullivan report claims that the highly competitive European temperature sensors and instruments market has reached a critical point. With many technologies reaching maturity, prices have dropped; hindering revenue growth considerably.

For some products, manufacturers have cut costs by improving techniques, but, claims the report, future growth is most likely to occur in the RTD (resistance thermometer devices), infrared pyrometer and temperature transmitter markets, leaving mature technologies, such as thermocouples, thermistors and thermometers, under intense price pressure and in a state of decline.

The report identifies increased efficiency and economy in the process industries as the main factors maintaining interest in the overall temperature sensors and instruments market. Trends towards digital equipment and bus networking systems are also positive features of the market, which are set to rise in significance.

Frost & Sullivan also emphasises the importance of deciding whether to participate in the low or high end of this market. While low price products have tight profit margins but require little service support; companies offering high end solutions enjoy larger profit margins but must offer additional benefits.

Indeed, manufacturers are hopeful that investment and interest will rise in the more expensive, higher quality temperature sensors and instruments.

The clear trend towards product miniaturisation, coupled with the introduction of bus networking systems are both seen as key factors providing stimulus for growth.

Future growth is expected to be assisted by an anticipated end to the price decline and the report forecasts that revenue growth rates will steadily rise.

The market is becoming much more oriented towards the large multi-national suppliers; growing demand for a complete solution and global sourcing favours the multinationals. Continued consolidation of the market is expected in the future, with more small companies expected to be swallowed up.

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