Automation to drive investments for dimensional metrology equipment: study

Monday August 11, 2014
Written by Manufacturing AUTOMATION
Aug. 11, 2014 - Rapid automation of manufacturing plants is one of the key factors driving the demand for inline metrology solutions in the automotive industry, according to new analysis from Frost & Sullivan.

The report, Analysis of the Dimensional Metrology Market in the Automotive Industry, reveals that several powertrain and body-in-white manufacturers will replace traditional, manual measurement solutions — such as coordinate measuring machines (CMMs) — with inline metrology solutions. Moving forward, as companies strive to gain a competitive edge by robotizing their manufacturing plants, end-to-end automated inline metrology will be a key solution demanded by leading automotive manufacturers.
 
The report finds that the market earned revenue of $949.2 million US in 2013, and estimates this to reach approximately $1,225.1 million US in 2018.
 
The fluctuating global economy coupled with an increase in gas prices continues to have an adverse impact on the automotive industry worldwide. Emerging economies, in particular, have had volatile market conditions that have created concerns for companies in the automotive supply chain. This, in turn, has impacted investments toward dimensional metrology equipment in these geographical areas.

“Fluctuating growth rates in the automotive industry also reduce investment by end users in developed countries,” said Frost & Sullivan’s Measurement and Instrumentation senior research analyst Aravind Govindan. “For example, auto sales in Germany continued to fall by around 4.1 percent in 2013; the pace of decline is gradually slowing, though lack of cheap credit facilities for automotive buyers hinders sales.”

Medium- and small-sized dimensional metrology manufacturers even reduced the cost of their equipment in order to overcome this challenge and boost sales, particularly in Asia-Pacific. While helping them stay competitive, it also had an adverse impact on profit margins and impacted growth of the overall dimensional metrology market.
 
With growing interest in concepts such as “Industry 4.0,” smart factories and zero defects, the trend toward automation is undeniable and continues to gain momentum. The inline metrology segment in the automotive industry is likely to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.2 percent till 2018. Dimensional metrology manufacturers will need to adapt product development strategies to keep pace with the requirements of automotive customers.
 
For more information on this research, visit http://bit.ly/1pCjwiC.

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