Photoelectric sensor market faces increasing demand, price pressure

Tuesday July 24, 2012
Written by Manufacturing AUTOMATION
The market for photoelectric sensors experienced a collapse and a dramatic rebound in the last three years, according to a new ARC Advisory Group report. The report says the market is now back to the development behaviour seen in the past. As the market is strongly dependent on the investment climate, the situation has recently worsened, but ARC still expects a rather positive development for the coming years. “Photoelectric sensors have long been in a position in which there was simply no alternative, but now ultrasonic sensors as well as low-end vision sensors are targeting the same applications. While photoelectric sensors are still price competitive, they also add value for end users with more functions,” says ARC analyst Florian Güldner, the principal author of ARC’s “Photoelectric Sensors Worldwide Outlook” The demand for sensing is increasing, with overall demand for sensors rising faster than for industrial automation in general. Still, the investment climate overshadows technological effects and trends from the plant floor. Growth in photoelectric sensors is directly linked to the business cycle. Automation demand is often supported by the spare parts business, modernization projects and longer project lead times. But sensor suppliers cannot count on these dynamics. In contrast, the relatively high share of sales through distributors emphasizes the effects from investment as distributors empty/fill up their stocks at the beginning of a development.

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