Varied Growth Prospects in U.S. Markets for Electronic Pressure Sensing Devices

4/1/2003 - A new three volume market study from Venture Development Corporation forecasts that shipment of electronic pressure measurement devices to markets in the United States will increase from $1,282 million in 2002 to $1,508 million in 2007 at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 3.3%. This market consists of pressure transmitters sold for process industry applications, non-process transducers & transmitters, and component-level pressure sensors. The component-level pressure sensors are solid-state devices that are sold either as silicon chips or with a limited degree of packaging that allow these to be incorporated into transmitters or transducers.

VDC studied only the merchant market for the component-level pressure sensors. Most suppliers of pressure transducers and transmitters that use silicon chip technology produce these for their own use, and this captive portion of the market is much larger than merchant market shipments. Though the merchant market for these products is small, it is forecast to have a 4.6% CAGR through 2007, a rate which is higher than that projected for the non-process pressure transducer & transmitters (at 3.7%), and process transmitters (at 2.1%).

Component-level pressure sensors are sold for a wide variety of uses, however, the majority are implemented into medical and automotive vehicle applications. A major portion of the medical application market is to suppliers who package these as disposable invasive blood pressure monitors. Most suppliers of solid state pressure transducers & transmitters for automotive vehicle applications produce their own component-level sensors for these, however, there are other suppliers who source these, and this segment is forecast to be the fastest growing.

The large market for non-process pressure transducers & transmitters is very diverse in terms of application markets. However, almost 70% of the market is in products for automotive vehicle, medical, and military/aerospace applications. The automotive vehicle market is the largest, and is forecast to be the fastest growing.

Automotive vehicle applications are many, and these are increasing all the time. Applications now include:

Typically in automotive applications, usage of pressure measuring devices starts out as part of options on high-end vehicles, and these options later become available on lower-end vehicles. Some such usage remains as options, others become standard on vehicles.

Jim Taylor, Group Manager at VDC, who led the study, stated that "among the many applications, significant growth is expected in use of pressure measuring devices in automotive tire pressure monitoring systems. These systems are being mandated by the U.S. government for new vehicles. These will likely be sold as complete systems to the automotive vehicle manufacturers. The system suppliers will make some of the components and purchase others. Some system suppliers will produce the pressure sensors, while others will purchase these."

The U.S. market for process pressure transmitters is forecast to grow at a 2.1% CAGR through 2007. The market consists of shipments for replacement of failed units and as spares, and also orders for new facilities, expansions, and updating of facilities. Market growth is very much dependent on overall business growth and expansion.

Business growth and expansion in the process industries is expected to be slow over the forecast period, thus adversely affecting this market. However, there are factors helping to maintain market growth. These include:

Also, pressure transmitters are displacing other sensor technologies in some applications, where these are helping to provide higher productivity. However, this is not universally true. Pressure transmitters are being displaced in tank level measurement applications by microwave/radar sensors, and in flow measurement applications by magnetic, vortex and Coriolis flow meters.

Other factors which will lead to slow market growth is strong competition which is expected to erode selling prices and the perception by many firms that there is no need for change to their facilities, particularly as this is likely to involve large capital expenditures.

About VDC
Founded in 1971, VDC is a technology market research and consulting firm that specializes in industrial and commercial electronics, computing, communications, software and power system markets.

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