The research study covers the present scenario and growth prospects of the global industrial sensors market for 2016-2020. The report also lists process industries and discrete industries as the two major end-user segments for industrial sensors.
Technavio industrial automation analysts highlight the following three factors that are contributing to the growth of the global industrial sensors market:
- IoT opportunities
- Growth in industrial robotics market
- Increased adoption of MEM sensors in industrial automation
Internet of Things (IoT) is a network of physical objects embedded with sensors, software, and electronic hardware that helps to gather and exchange data without human intervention. IoT, specifically Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), is generating a strong demand for industrial sensors in the factory settings. Technavio predicts 50.2 billion devices to be connected to the Internet by 2020. Approximately, 40% of these devices will be traditionally smart devices such as televisions, tablets, and smart phones. The remaining 60% will be made up of devices that traditionally have not been Internet-enabled.
IIoT is the network of devices created with sensors, industrial equipment, big data analytics, and cloud infrastructure. IIoT technology is increasingly installed in existing sites and across existing field equipment through upgrades and retrofits. IIoT enables the development of smart factories, leading to 20% increase in productivity at the machine level, 10% increase in throughput, and 10% reduction in inventory.
“IIoT implementation can save a manufacturer up to 12% over scheduled repairs, reduce maintenance costs up to 30%, and eliminate breakdowns by 70%. Industrial end-users with a large manufacturing base and sensors/software on board are best positioned to gain from the smart factory efficiency benefits,” says Bharath Kanniappan, a lead analyst at Technavio for automation research.
Growth in industrial robotics market
Sensors are widely used in industrial robots for sensing, recognition, and interpretation. Some of the important sensors used are proximity sensors, range sensors, and force sensors. Proximity sensors are used to detect the availability of component. They are placed in the robot moving parts such as end effector. These sensors are switched on at a specified distance and measured by means of feet or millimeters. They are also used as a collision detector sensor to provide safe working environment. These sensors will send a signal to the robot to stop or limit its motion whenever the pressure is sensed on a soft surface such as that of humans. The collaborative robots will be equipped with these sensors in large numbers.
The US manufacturing companies are relocating the manufacturing processes back to the US, and automating them. The US market is primarily driven by the motor vehicle industry followed by the metals and machinery equipment manufacturing industry. Industries such as food and beverage, rubber and plastic, and pharmaceutical use industrial robots in their manufacturing operations to reduce labor cost and increase competitiveness.
The European government is supporting SMEs to implement industrial robots to increase efficiency in their facilities. Raising the output and efficiency of SMEs will have a positive influence on Europe’s manufacturing capacity. This will increase the overall employment, as companies expand into new markets that were considered inaccessible due to Europe’s higher labor costs. These developments are expected to positively influence the growth of the global industrial sensors market.
Increased adoption of MEM sensors in industrial automation
The scalability, reliability, sensitivity, and cost effective solutions offered by the microelectromechanical (MEM) sensor technology have provided a multitude of opportunities for its applications in the industrial automation sector. The most prominent type of MEM sensors used in industrial automation include pressure and inertial sensors such as gyroscopes and accelerometers. The miniaturization of sensors has increased their use in applications such as industrial robotics, process control, manufacturing processes, and life science. MEM sensor technology is particularly beneficial for the industrial robotics sector as the technology can be used to develop navigation, tactile, and proximity sensors. “The MEM sensors enable a robot to obtain sensory information to make decisions and execute actions in an autonomous and versatile manner,” says Bharath.
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