Since their first introduction almost seven decades ago, X-ray instrumentation technologies have continuously evolved to find use in a range of emerging applications. While research-based applications have always offered a steady demand for X-ray instrumentation, their potential industrial applications are also increasing, particularly in the chemicals and petrochemicals, foods, semiconductor and manufacturing industries. Nevertheless, the market is slowly approaching maturity and vendors need to ensure product differentiation by focusing on customization to suit specific applications in a wide range of emerging end-user industries.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, World X-Ray Instrumentation Market, reveals that revenues in this market totaled $548.7 million in 2005 and can reach $852.9 million in 2012.
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New EU regulations such as the restriction of hazardous substances (RoHS), waste electronics & electrical equipment (WEEE) and end of life vehicle (ELV) are set to provide a major impetus to the growth of the global X-ray instrumentation market. With their implementation, there is bound to be increased uptake of X-ray instruments among new end-user industries that need to ensure compliance, particularly those in the electronics goods and related industries. Hence, the approaching maturity is no barrier to market growth as a large spectrum of emerging end users, who have not traditionally used the technology, are likely to provide fresh opportunities.
“Companies involved in research and quality control applications have become important end users of X-ray instruments and the sustained demand for high-performance instruments from the foods and beverages, chemicals, petrochemicals, universities, industrial applications and other such industries is likely to drive the overall growth of the X-ray instrumentation market,” notes Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Lakshman Koundinya V.S. “Market participants also envisage tremendous potential in the Asian region due to the continuing growth and development of the regions’ industries, particularly the pharmaceutical and biotechnology-related industries.”
However, the reduction of capital expenditure by certain key end users has forced market participants to reduce prices to ensure that they retain unit sales. While this has had an adverse impact on revenues, the high manufacturing costs and the requirement for substantial R&D investment are also restricting the entry of new participants, thereby restraining overall market growth.
“Another significant challenge that market participants are likely to face is the increasing requirement to meet the varying needs of a diverse range of end-user industries,” says Koundinya. “A maturing market has made it imperative for companies to diversify and develop products that cater to emerging end users and suit their particular needs.”
To address these challenges, vendors need to develop technologically advanced equipment that cater to the requirements of a broad range of new end users. Ease of use is also likely to be critical along with customization to ensure maximum value for the end consumer. In all, companies will have to proactively monitor the changing requirements of customers in various end-user groups, identify opportunities for technological innovation and ensure sufficient product differentiation over those offered by their competitors.
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