NDT for Composites Market to Experience Healthy Expansion MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA—Advanced composite materials are being used to develop more durable, lightweight and high performance materials and products. They are increasingly being applied within the aerospace, automotive, oil and gas, and wind energy sectors, particularly in critical structural applications, where structural integrity is essential. However, these composite materials are susceptible to flaws. As such, non-destructive testing (NDT) detects the presence of internal irregularities in the composite material, without affecting its physical integrity and subsequent service. New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Non-Destructive Testing Technologies for Composites, finds that the market for NDT for composites is set to expand, fuelled by the growing use of composites in various application sectors, as well as stricter safety regulations. The research covers ultrasonic, radiography, thermography and shearo graphy testing. “Composite applications are strictly compliance-driven and there are stringent government safety regulations to which the composites industry must adhere,” says Mousumi Dasgupta, technical insights research analyst at Frost & Sullivan. “These regulations have generated significant demand for NDT methods and inspection services. They also act as one of the key drivers for growth in the composite-focused NDT market.” While such trends are positioned to give the market added momentum, a major challenge faced by the NDT for composites industry is the lack of trained operators. Limited knowledge about the structural complexity of composites is hindering market growth. NDT device manufacturers and developers are attempting to introduce easy to use systems that would require minimal operator knowledge for carrying out the inspection. They are also developing automated tools that offer improved defect detection capability, which might replace manual testing techniques. “For inspecting exceptionally large parts and production volumes, computer- controlled robotic systems are being integrated with NDT devices,” says Dasgupta. “Rapid data processing is now possible with advancements in hardware and software, which allows the operator to detect damage in real time.” Technological Improvements will Further Enhance Market Penetration of Machine Vision Solutions MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA—Previously considered bulky, expensive and complex to interpret, machine vision technology has undergone continuous improvements to become an integral part of quality control for industrial or manufacturing production lines. Advances in sensor, digital signal processors, field programmable gate array and microprocessors, electronics and computing have considerably expanded the application scope for machine vision technology. Analysis of the Global Industrial Machine Vision Market, finds that the market earned revenue of $4.50 billion in 2012 and estimates this to reach $6.75 billion in 2016. The study covers the segments of vision systems, industrial cameras, frame grabber, optics and illumination systems, and machine vision software. “The simplicity and cost-effectiveness of current machine vision solutions have enabled it to pene-trate a number of adjacent markets,” said Vijay Mathew measurement and instrumentation program manager at Frost & Sullivan. In traditional markets, such as automotive, pharmaceutical and electronics, customers are employing machine vision in higher volume production lines and applications. In addition, faster and flexible solutions that can be integrated with all factory automation systems are being sought. Though some customers are still unfamiliar with the technology in non-traditional markets such as transportation, surveillance, biomedicine, security and agriculture, adoption of this technology within these industries is on the rise. The market made impressive progress since the economic downturn of 2009, when key end-user markets, such as automotive and semiconductors, had to slash their maintenance and inspection budgets. Although the market rebounded and steadied over the last couple of years, the intensifying sovereign debt crisis, along with austerity and cost-cutting measures are likely to push back the market. Regardless, market participants are still optimistic about the overall business environment. Although 2012 was relatively slow, the market is expected to stabilize in 2013 and beyond. “The camera segment has the most potential. With technological innovations, the lines between vi-sion sensors, smart cameras, and PC-based machine vision systems will blur,” says Mathew. “The integration of robotics in machine vision technology will continue to increase through partnerships, as well as mergers and acquisitions, giving the market significant scope for growth.” Oceans can Receives UKAS Accreditation ABERDEEN, SCOTLAND—Oceans can Ltd announced its Calibration Laboratory, in Aberdeen, has been officially accredited by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS). This prestigious mark of quality means calibrations of all ultrasonic flaw detectors can now be carried out to the international- ly recognized standard ISO/IEC 17025: 2005, which is one of the most rigorous in the industry. NDT Equipment Market Gaining Momentum With Evolving Technologies MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA—The NDT industry can be broadly classified into two segments: equipment and services.Although there is a certain degree of overlap in competition between these two segments, with a few competitors offering both equipment and services, the market dynamics differ across equipment and services. New research carried out by Frost & Sullivan and reported by Research Analyst Nikhil Jain contains an overview of the NDT equipment market by covering the trends impacting the market across different technology and end-user industry segments. The report concludes that the market for NDT equipment is highly mature and concentrated. The top two competitors in the market, GE Measurement and Control Solutions and Olympus NDT Inc, occupy approximately 50% of the market. The remaining 50% is shared by more than 150 companies. Only GE Measurement and Control Solutions have product lines across various technologies, such as ultrasonic, radiography, magnetic and electromagnetic, visual and penetrant testing. Other participants offer equipment in one or two technology segments, with ultrasonic and radiography segments having the largest number of participants. Frost & Sullivan’s research estimated the global NDT equipment market at nearly $1.5 billion in 2012, growing at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.1%. Of this, ultrasonic testing contributed 31.1% to the market revenue, making it the largest technology segment in the market. Radiography was the second largest at 30.3% and visual inspection was the third largest segment, contributing 21.3% to the market revenue. In the next five years, radiography is expected to overtake ultrasonic testing as the largest technology segment in the NDT equipment market. This is an extremely interesting trend, as the volume of ultrasonic test equipment is expected to be significantly higher than radiography, but the average price for ultrasonic test equipment is declining at a faster pace than radiography equipment. Therefore, the revenue to be generated from the radiography segment is expected to be higher than the ultrasonic segment. To put things into perspective revenue wise, radiography is expected to grow at a CAGR of 8.7% and ultrasonic test equipment at a CAGR of 7.4%. From an end-user industry perspective, power generation and oil & gas are the two largest segments, contributing 21. 8% and 20.9%, respectively, in 2012. Both these industries are expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.5%. Although the market is mature and is characterized by a slow rate of change of technology, over the past decade there have been important advancements in technology. Phased array ultrasonics has seen exponential growth with the introduction of truly portable instrumentation. Digital radiography has witnessed wide-scale adoption in the electronics, automotive and aerospace industries. Remote visual inspection (RVI) is witnessing incremental adoption, with many aerospace industry codes mandating its use for inspection in certain applications. Overall, there has been greater adoption of advanced NDT technologies. Conventional NDT technologies are evolving steadily, with improvements in performance and functionality of the equipment. The key growth driver for the NDT equipment market is the need to extend the useful life of ageing assets and running these assets at high capacities. The costs and challenges involved in building new infrastructure have resulted in a desire for end-user industries to extend the useful life of their existing infrastructure. Thus, these existing assets have aged, especially in North America. The average age for a refinery or power plant in the United States is more than 40 years, yet these assets are required to run at high capacities. In the recently published Frost & Sullivan study, entitled: ‘Analysis of the global non-destructive test equipment market’, detailed analysis on current and future trends has been provided, in addition to a comprehensive view on the latest market and technology trends.
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