STUDY GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
This BCC study analyzes the status of global markets for optical coatings. Optical coatings may be devices, but more typically are a value-added feature of an optical element such as a lens or a digital display. Many elements are fabricated and coated in volume and thus have low prices and margins.
Innovation is critical for revenue growth in the coatings industry. The markets with the highest margins and fastest growth for coatings are new applications, where coatings offer a new advantage, and areas where the coating designer and processor may have an advantage. Mass production of devices drives down prices and trims margins.
Custom coating design opportunities support a fragmented but consolidating industry. The economic recession of 2007 to 2009 lead to larger, better capitalized firms buying out smaller entities. The military market remains an important one for optics due to the advent of remote warfare means such as unmanned vehicles and robots. Machine vision optics for the semiconductor industry remains a high margin market.
The miniaturization in medical procedures offers opportunities for innovative coatings. The transportation applications are growing as vehicle designs include cameras, displays and other optical systems. Growth in the telecom sector continues to be slow as the extension of fiber toward the end user remains slow. Coatings for solar panels represent a growing market.
This report considers market conditions and opportunities in regional areas around the globe. The report also considers the potential new high margins coatings applications that will emerge in the next five years.
Optical coatings are used in any application in which the amount of wavelength of light must be precisely realized. Coatings determine which wavelengths of light are transmitted or reflected, which determines the resolution and quality of any display or projected image.
This report provides a standard five-year planning cycle and revenue estimates through 2016. It defines product segments for optical coating technology categories, analyzes technology options, and determines current application markets as well as likely future opportunities. Additionally, this report defines and graphically analyzes these optical coating markets from many perspectives, categorizes and profiles the companies involved, defines unique nomenclature, and details policy organizations, conferences, authors and consortiums.
REASONS FOR DOING THE STUDY
Optical technology in many application markets represents the next level of technological advancement. Any component that influences the path of the light signal will be coated. Optical communications are orders of magnitude faster than electronics; as the amount of video and interaction increases on the Internet, the need for maximum speed, possible only with optical technology, will increase.
Flat screens for television, cell phones, computers and other displays will continue to grow in size and application. Touch screen technology will also become more ubiquitous. Optical components and coatings are critical in flat panel and screens.
In the medical and defense markets, the desire to be able to monitor and act remotely requires optics and optical coatings. In the medical market, optical fiber and associated technology permit physicians to operate less invasively. In the defense market, the rapidly expanding use of unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, has increased the need for optics capable of acquiring high-magnification and high-resolution images to provide accurate actionable information for pilots located at a remote position. In addition, robots and remote sensors detect and report in dangerous environments, allowing personnel to remain at a safe distance.
SCOPE OF REPORT
This BCC business opportunity report covers, with a critical eye, the global optical coatings marketplace. It focuses particularly on the markets and opportunities for optical in the telecommunications, transportation, defense, photography, electronics and medical markets.
This study is presented in easy-to-follow sections that overview this subject, define the technology, segment the market by product type and application, profile companies, and identify suppliers. All dollar amounts are expressed in current 2011 U.S. dollars.
This is a complete source for serious players in the optical coatings marketplace.
METHODOLOGY AND INFORMATION SOURCES
Materials and data presented in this report were obtained from telephone interviews with marketing and engineering personnel at the major companies profiled, as well as from catalogs, the Internet, patterns and the literature search of current articles related to optical coatings technology.
Investors and project managers will use this report to assess the status of the optical coating market in order to identify suppliers and systems integrators and forecast the future markets. Market managers will be able to assess the competition and identify customers and new suppliers for coatings. Management consultants will determine whether companies divest or invest in optical coating technology based in part on the market projections, competitive strengths and development issues revealed in this report.
Equipment managers will develop or modify existing products to address the coating technology manufacturing concerns emphasized in this report. Material suppliers will identify market opportunities and new customers based on the study’s projected growth in applications. Venture capital managers will identify targets for investment, merger or acquisition based on companies identified and described in this report. Strategic planners will identify other companies with critical strains with which to strategically partner so they can share in the overall optical coating technology growth as projected in this report.
The author received a Ph.D. in material science and engineering from the University of Arizona in 1993, based on a dissertation on the fabrication and characteristics of sol gel optical waveguides. She then worked for two years at Sandia National Labs on the development of thin-film zeolite filters for gas separation applications. Since 1996, she has covered the transportation market as both a contributing editor and editor of Advanced Transportation Technology News and authored numerous Business Opportunity Reports in advanced materials and transportation for BCC.
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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 of a speculative in nature. The author assumes no responsibility for any loss or damage that might result from reliance on the reported information or from its use.