Are Proximity, Photoelectric and Linear Displacement Sensors Meeting Machine Builders’ Needs?

Aug 09, 2004

As manufacturing processes become increasingly sophisticated, machine builders and other users of proximity, photoelectric and linear displacement sensors in their designs are demanding more functionality from their sensors.

 

But times have been tough for suppliers says VDC. According to their analysts, if suppliers are to boost the low, and at times negative, growth rates of the past four years, it will be necessary for them to deliver new or enhanced technologies to meet the emerging and sometimes specialized needs of production equipment builders serving diverse markets.

 

A past Venture Development Corp. (VDC, www.vdc-corp.com) market study totaled the U.S. market for proximity and photoelectric sensors at $655 million in 2000 and the market for linear displacement sensors at $314 million in 2000.

 

Specifically, says VDC sensor suppliers should:

 

  • Provide new shapes and smaller sizes,

  • Use advanced housing materials like Teflon, chrome-plated steel etc. to meet durability requirements,

  • Offer support for open and proprietary networking protocols,

  • Incorporate networking interface circuits, and

  • Increase sensing range and performance.

What technologies are becoming attractive to sensor buyers? The best prospects are:

 

Proximity And Photoelectric Sensors

 

Capacitive

  • Largest Market Segment - Automotive Industry

  • Fastest-Growing Segment - Assembly/Robotics Equipment, Medical Equipment & Petroleum Industry are tied

 

Inductive

  • Largest Market Segment - Metalworking Equipment

  • Fastest-Growing Segment - Packaging Equipment

 

Magnetic Actuated

  • Largest Market Segment - Valve Industry

  • Fastest-Growing Segment – Material-Handling Equipment

 

Photoelectric

  • Largest Market Segment – Material-Handling Equipment

  • Fastest-Growing Segment - Automotive Industry

 

Ultrasonic

  • Largest Market Segment - Paper/Film Converting

  • Fastest-Growing Segment - Printing Equipment

 

Linear Displacement Sensors

 

Capacitive

  • Largest Market Segment - Disk Drive Industry

  • Fastest-Growing Segment - Semiconductor Industry

 

Inductosyn Encoder

  • Largest Market Segment - Metalworking Equipment

  • Fastest-Growing Segment - Metalworking Equipment

 

Magnetic Encoder

  • Largest Market Segment - Metalworking Equipment

  • Fastest-Growing Segment – Undetermined—vendors are expanding market efforts beyond metalworking equipment

 

Optical Encoder

  • Largest Market Segment - Metalworking Equipment

  • Fastest-Growing Segment - Printing Equipment & Textile Industry

 

Inductive

  • Largest Market Segment - Semiconductor Industry

  • Fastest-Growing Segment - Packaging Equipment

 

Laser

  • Largest Market Segment - Electronics Industry††

  • Fastest-Growing Segment - Electronics Industry††

 

LVDTs

  • Largest Market Segment - Military/Aerospace Industry

  • Fastest-Growing Segment - Assembly/Robotics Equipment

 

Magnetostrictive

  • Largest Market Segment - Plastics Manufacturing Equipment

  • Fastest-Growing Segment - Lumber Industry

Ultrasonic

  • Largest Market Segment - Food & Beverage Industry

  • Fastest-Growing Segment - Assembly/Robotics Equipment

 

†† Exclusive of semiconductor industry portion

 

VDC's is proposing to update its past research. “Proximity, Photoelectric, and Linear Displacement Sensors: North American Market Assessment, Seventh Edition” aims to outline the changing requirements of control environments and help suppliers create strategies to address these important issues by providing granular, relevant market analysis if this industry.

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