In-line metrology vendors offer solutions to leverage emerging growth opportunities

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Metrology OEMs must incorporate Factory of the Future while designing newer solutions, finds Frost & Sullivan’s Test & Measurement team.

Investment in the latest dimensional metrology equipment continues to increase globally despite economic uncertainties. As end users seek to integrate these inspection technologies into production lines, metrology original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are starting to invest more in the research and quicker development of in-line/near-line metrology products.

In-line metrology consumes less time and increases inspection rates compared to traditional scanning technologies, such as horizontal arm and articulated arm machines. Key in-line/near-line technologies include optical scanners, machine vision, and coordinate measuring machines (CMMs).

“Bridging metrology and process control create opportunities for metrology companies to engineer products with additional features,” said Test & Measurement Research Manager Aravind Seshagiri. “However, evolution of new manufacturing processes implies that metrology OEMs must accommodate Factory of the Future while designing machine vision and optical scanners for current needs.”

Shaping the Future

Perspectives on the Global In-line Metrology, Forecast to the Year 2021, new research from Frost & Sullivan’s Test & Measurement Growth Partnership Service, offers an executive outlook of the growth opportunities in the global in-line metrology market up to 2021.

The study provides forecasts for machine vision, in-line CMMs, white-light scanners, and laser line scanners. It highlights market drivers, restraints and opportunities, and analyses the regional influence on market dynamics. Insights include actionable recommendations for entry and growth in the in-inline metrology market, which stood at $247.5 million in 2015 and is expected to reach $515.0 million by 2021.

“However, the biggest challenges for the metrology market remain the lack of standard protocols and the significant shift in end-user behavior,” noted Aravind Seshagiri. “Many in-line metrology providers have adopted a wait-and-see approach in response to the slow decision making of end users in opting for in-line metrology solutions.”

Adopting a standard protocol for in-line metrology equipment and continuously increasing accuracy levels will help participants to expand the market share.

Major demand trends in the market currently include:

• Strong growth for machine vision and white-light scanners in the global automotive industry;
• End-user preference for optical scanners, especially in the body-in-white and stamping part application areas, as they do not want to invest further in conventional in-line CMMs;
• Favorable market and technological development trends for optical metrology, as its flexibility, cost effectiveness and reliability are at par with in-line CMMs;
• High-growth rate in Asia-pacific; Japan is set to dominate the region’s in-line metrology market due to its strong position in the automotive industry;
• The larger presence of automobile industries in Europe means more leading metrology manufacturers in the region, giving it an edge over North America.

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