STUDY GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
Since the creation of the sensor and integrated circuit (IC) industries both have steadily delivered greater value to their customers by increasing the functionality of their products while reducing unit costs. In so doing both industries recognized the enormous potential of integrating sensors into microprocessor-controlled devices. Today, we see the results of the convergence of sensors with new products in the form of video games that replace controllers with hand motions, blood-sugar monitoring devices that requires diabetics to draw less blood and a host of less visible industrial products. This BCC Research study examines one important class of those industrial products that have benefited from the sensor-microdevice convergence: portable analysis instrumentation (PAI).
This is the second examination of the global (PAI) market conducted by BCC Research. In its 2009 study titled Portable Analysis Instrumentation: The Global Market (IAS028A), BCC Research concluded PAIs were rapidly making it possible to rapidly acquire laboratory-quality analytical results in the field. In this study, motivated by the speed of recent developments, we have added greater specificity to that earlier work, by:
- Distinguishing among basic types of PAIs based, on their fundamental analytical capabilities, chromatography, spectroscopy, etc.
- Forecasting country-level demand for 51 national economies, including China-Hong Kong as a separate national economy from China-Mainland.
REASONS FOR DOING THIS STUDY
As pointed out in our 2009 study, improvements in PAI that occurred in the early years of the 21st century arose from the maturation of sensor and integrated circuit (IC)technologies. In many applications PAIs held the promise of being truly transformational, although not all applications would see the technology mature at the same rate. In environmental monitoring PAI technology rapidly reached its natural plateau, offering sufficient selectivity and sensitivity for intended end-users. A field ecologist’s instrumentation does not require 10-digit precision. In other cases—instrumentation on planetary space probes offer an excellent example—the core technology itself runs ahead of the end-users’ understanding. To use a sports analogy: Not every everyone playing junior varsity (JV) football can fit into the varsity team’s shoulder pads, but it is reasonable to predict that one day everyone member of the JV team will. Technologically progress motivates a reexamination of the topic. The speed of that progress is evident in the final chapter of this study that provides abstracts of some 200 inventions related to PAIs that received patents between the spring of 2009 and summer of 2012. Second, the economic situation has changes profoundly since 2009.
This study will interest these groups of professionals:
- Managers responsible for field-level data collection activities related to manufacturing, scientific research, and regulatory enforcement and compliance.
- Executives responsible for improving their organization’s field data acquisition activities.
- Design engineers specializing in sensors, application-specific integrated circuits and instrument packaging.
- Manufacturers of portable instrumentation.
- Sensor manufacturers.
- Integrated Circuit (IC) suppliers.
- Application-Specific Integrated Circuit ASIC service providers.
- Investors exploring opportunities in the activities described above.
SCOPE AND FORMAT
The scope of this study is the PAI market, a subset of the larger analysis equipment market. The diverse nature of the PAI market paradoxically requires that to be useful its forecasts need to be specific for both for types of devices for which demand is forecast and also in identifying the geographic markets in which those devices are used. In most cases, technologically drives technological markets. In the case of PAIs the situation is more nuanced, with broader economic and political circumstances also influencing demand. For example, the demand for PAIs for environmental monitoring is influenced both by the expansion of industries that create discharges into the air and water and also by national laws that seek to mitigate the depredation of those resources.
The broad scope of the PAI market requires that forecasts show demand for both types of PAIs and the demand for those devices at the country level. In this study, we provide that data with a set of 17 devices by country forecast tables and 52 countries by device tables. To aid readers in better understanding the areas in which technology will exert its greatest influence we have included two additional sets of information: comprehensive patent data consisting of the abstracts of 189 recent inventions directly related to PAIs, with more detailed patent information on three devices that rise to the level of disruptive technologies. All forecast tables use the format in presenting values in current U.S. dollars for 2013 through 2018. A set of informational tables place the forecasts in context of the distribution of national manufacturing activity and the number potential PAI-using personnel.
There are numerous methods of defining and classifying analytical instruments, the two broadest divisions being between stationary and mobile equipment and between those which manufacturers can freely sell and those requiring prior governmental approval, for example, medical devices. While distinctions between stationary and mobile instrumentation may be self-evident distinguishing mobile and portable instruments remains open to interpretation. In this study BCC Research applies a simple bright-line test similar to the one flight attendants use in enforcing the no personal electronics rule during takeoffs and landings: If it has a battery, it is PAI.
To maintain uniformity in our discussion of PAIs we distinguish among the 17 generic types of PAIs covered in this study by adopting the same descriptions that national taxation authorities have agreed upon when identifying PAIs for tariff purposes, the 2007 version of the Harmonized System (HS) product coding system. Using HS2007 nomenclature, the 17 types of PAIs examined in this study are:
- Electrochemical Instruments and Apparatus.
- Electrophoresis Instruments, Electrical.
- Gas Chromatographs.
- Gas or Smoke Analysis Apparatus.
- Ionizing Radiation Measuring and Detecting Instruments.
- Liquid Chromatographs.
- Mass Spectrometers.
- Nuclear Magnetic Resonances Instruments and Apparatus, Nonmedical.
- Physical or Chemical Analysis Instruments and Apparatus Using Optical Radiations, Not Elsewhere Specified.
- Spectrometers and Spectrographs Using Optical Radiations, Electrical.
- Spectrophotometers Using Optical Radiations, Nonelectrical.
- Spectroscopes Using Optical Radiations, Nonelectrical.
- Thermal Analysis Instruments and Apparatus.
- Chemical Analysis Instruments and Apparatus, Not Elsewhere Specified.
- Chromatographs and Electrophoresis Instruments, Not Elsewhere Specified.
- Spectrometers and Spectrographs Using Optical Radiations, Not Elsewhere Specified, Nonelectrical.
Because the focus of this study is the industrial market we have, with one exception, omitted PAIs that fall within the U. S. Food and Drug Administration definition of a medical device. The exception is in the inventions included in the last chapter that addresses patents, as the testing methodologies adopted for use in medical devices tend to have applications beyond healthcare.
Total forecast values presented in this report reflect demand in the 52 economies for which we have furnished forecasts. We use the term “economy” rather than “county” because China-Mainland and China-Hong Kong operate under different economic systems. Due to insufficient verifiable product value data China-Taiwan and other, mostly small economies have been excluded from this study. The 52 economies for which we furnish forecasts are:
- China-Hong Kong.
- Costa Rica.
- Czech Republic.
- New Zealand.
- South Africa.
- United Kingdom.
- United States.
When technologies are new the attention they receive in the trade and popular press can often skew market place realities. In these circumstances—which clearly apply to PAIs—the technology analyst must look beyond the “blue sky” rhetoric of sales and marketing executives and more heavily weigh the comments of senior company executives responsible for their company’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). To identify market drivers and restraints we consulted the business conditions sections of annual and quarterly financial reports from companies that in their SEC filings self-identified themselves as engaging in Analytical Laboratory Instrument Manufacturing as their principal business activities. Data for assessing national driving and restraining factors were obtained from trade flows reported by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. International Trade Commission. Economic indicators were extracted from public domain sources from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), International Monetary Fund (IMF), United Nations (UN), World Bank (WB) and World Health Organization studies. To assess baseline sales volumes we researched tariff and taxation records for the Harmonized Systems codes corresponding to those products. We have examined device descriptions based upon documents disclosed by product manufacturers. Product sales information was obtained from the financial filings of public companies. Information about conditions within countries where portable analysis instrumentation is sold was derived from the Central Intelligence Agency Fact Book and reports compiled by the U.S. Department of State as well as the transnational organizations identified in the Methodology section, above. Patent information updates that published in the earlier BCC Research study. Here we provide information obtained from a computer search of the United States Patent Office (USPTO) for patents issued between April 12, 2009 and August 27, 2012.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
James Wilson is a leading technology analyst who specializes in forecasting global demand for emerging and converging technologies. He has served on the adjunct faculty of Temple University and on the staffs of Drexel University and the Academy of Natural Sciences. The former editor of the Princeton Business Journal and a senior science and technology editor for Hearst Magazines, he is a past member of the National Association of Science Writers. His studies for BCC include intelligent wireless micromachines, power electronics, medical device sensors, robotics, mobile telematics and remote sensing.
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The information developed in this report is intended to be as reliable as possible at the time of publication and of a professional nature. This information does not constitute managerial, legal, or accounting advice; nor should it serve as a corporate policy guide, laboratory manual, or an endorsement of any product, as much of the information is speculative in nature. The author assumes no responsibility for any loss or damage that might result from reliance on the reported information or its use.