The increasing need for precise and accurate component measurements is the most predominant factor driving the demand for optical digitizers and scanners across the world, according to the latest report by Frost & Sullivan.Due to their financial ability to test new technologies, the aerospace and automotive end-user sectors have played a key role in pioneering the technology, subsequently driving market growth. Yet, the approaching maturity in certain end-user sectors is negatively impacting demand in these areas, forcing market participants to vigorously explore new avenues such as large manufacturing industries in order to expand their market base.
Frost & Sullivan (http://www.industrialautomation.frost.com) finds that the World Optical Digitizers and Scanners Market earned revenues of $244.5 million in 2005 and will reach $615.2 million in 2012.
The increasing demand for optical digitizers and scanners throughout Asia Pacific is emerging as a crucial driver for the global optical digitizers and scanners market. Benefiting from buoyant economies, most countries in this region are witnessing growth in terms of construction and infrastructure, resulting in an increased uptake of optical digitizers and scanners.
“Laser trackers find major applications in the aerospace, military, and defense as well as automobile industries and due to an increasing focus on these industries in Asia Pacific, the regional demand for laser trackers looks promising,” explains Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Prathima Bommakanti. “As the region continues to gain momentum in terms of increased market share, most participants are setting up branch offices in the growth regions of Asia Pacific to ensure their global presence as well as maximize sales volumes.”
However, despite the tremendous market potential for optical digitizers and scanners, the relative novelty of the technology is creating considerable challenges for industry participants. In traditional manufacturing environments, conservative end users are slow in adopting the technology and in several instances, they consider coordinate measurement machine (CMM) touch probes the referred and accepted method. Also, in serving niche markets in the manufacturing sector, the technology as well as the software needs to be customized to suit the applications, and participants often find the integration of scanning solutions to be time consuming.
In the opinion of some market participants, the utilization rates for particular types of manual optical digitizers and scanners remain low. Indicating that the usage rates are likely to be 30% to 40% in certain instances, they say that the movement of these measuring systems to the shop floor has added to the problem. In addition, certain end users are unable to afford dedicated employees to handle these machines, thus impacting their utilization rates.
“In overcoming these challenges, market participants should have a global focus and work towards forging strategic alliances, achieving a strong customer base and exploring niche market opportunities,” says Bommakanti. “In doing so, participants can successfully raise their competitive edge in the growing global optical digitizers and scanners market.”