Traditional sensors face price pressure

The European temperature sensors and instruments market has reached a critical point in its existence. The highly competitive nature of the market has forced prices downward, which is currently hindering revenue growth in leading companies.

For some products, manufacturers have successfully improved their techniques to cut costs. The majority of growth in the future is likely to derive from the RTD, infrared pyrometer and temperature transmitter markets, says a new study by Frost & Sullivan, the marketing consulting company. This has left the more mature technologies, such as thermocouples, thermistors and thermometers, unde r intense price pressure and in a state of decline.

The relative ease of manufacture and increased interest in mass-produced thin film resistance thermometer devices (RTDs) have made prices more attractive, thus enabling the technology to penetrate new markets.

The drive towards increased efficiency and economy in the process industries is the main factor 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.

Commenting on the competitive situation, Vicky Whiting, a consultant from Frost & Sullivan, states that the two most notable acquisitions consist of the acquirement of Heraeus by Fisher Rosemount and ABB’s take-over of the Elsag Bailey Hartmann & Braun consortium. These two companies now hold dominant positions in the temperature sensors and instruments market in Europe.