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Optical Metrology Market Overview
The optical metrology market was valued at $1,989.2 million in 2017 and is forecasted to register a CAGR of 6.5% during 2018–2023. Rising demand for precise measuring tools and equipment for inspection of electronic chips in the semiconductor industry is one of the key factors driving the market.
Based on product, the market is segmented into optical/laser scanner, video measuring machine (VMM), and laser micrometery; wherein optical/laser scanner led the optical metrology market during the historical period, owing to growing demand for non-contact measurement as well as for inspection of various kinds of automotive, and aerospace manufactured parts. The automotive industry is witnessing major growth, particularly from China. According to China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM), the production and sale of automobiles in the country were up by 14.5% and 13.7%, year-on-year, respectively, in 2016.
GLOBAL OPTICAL METROLOGY MARKET, BY PRODUCT, $M (2013 - 2023)
Based on application, optical metrology market is classified into distance measurement, surface inspection, and form measurement. Of these applications, surface inspection held the largest share in 2017 predominately due to increasing use of laser scanners and VMMs in the surface inspection of aerospace parts and manufacturing of automotive parts in automobile industry, respectively. Moreover, inspection of blisks is one of the major driving factors of surface inspection. The market for aerospace titanium blisk was valued at $455.1 million in 2017 and is forecast to touch a value of $597.3 million by 2023.
Based on industry, the global optical metrology market is categorized into automotive, consumer electronics, medical, aerospace and defense, and others, wherein ‘others’ include energy and utility, education, oil and gas, food and beverage, and construction. Among these, automotive held the largest revenue share in the market in 2017. This is due to the growing automotive industry in countries like China, the U.S., and Germany and increasing demand for optical metrology equipment for inspection as well as measurement of manufactured parts for automobiles.
Globally, North America was the largest optical metrology market, contributing over 30% share to the global market in 2017. This is attributed to growing automotive industry in the U.S., increasing exports of aerospace products from the U.S., and increasing spending by the U.S. government on military and defense.
Optical Metrology Market Dynamics
Increasing applications of optical metrology equipment in semiconductor, manufacturing, healthcare, as well as oil and gas industries are the major factors driving optical metrology market.
The global semiconductor industry is growing at a fast pace due to increasing investments in research and development, growing demand for consumer electronics, and evolving internet of things (IoT) market. As more and more integrated circuits (IC) are incorporated into electronic devices, there is a need to design and manufacture high performance and cost-effective ICs. Optical metrology is used in chip manufacturing to verify a design and to measure film thickness. For instance, KLA-Tencor Corporation, a semiconductor manufacturing company, uses optical metrology in chip manufacturing process to improve accuracy.
Moreover, there is a huge demand for smartphones and tablets which requires the use of complex electronic circuits and its inspection at the circuit level. Globally, it has been recorded that in 2017, 63% of consumers had smartphones as compared to 58% in 2016.
Furthermore, optical metrology equipment is increasingly being used to perform highly accurate measurements of parts in the manufacturing industry. To carry out different processes such as inspection/quality control, machine/tooling design, machine/tooling adjustments and to perform work instructions, there is rising need for measurement tools such as optical/laser scanners, virtual machine manger (VMM), and laser micrometers, thus driving optical metrology market growth.
Use of portable handheld optical metrology devices is one of the key trends exhibited in the optical metrology market. Portable handheld optical metrology devices which include portable articulated arms, handheld optical scanners, and smart digital gauges with wireless data transferring capabilities have made measurement of objects very quick and convenient. These systems are largely being adopted by the automotive, aerospace & defense, and industrial sectors to increase their production capability and reduce defects. The handheld tools are often appropriate for simple geometric measurements, including hole diameters or length and width measurement of a component.
Additionally, another key trend noted in the optical metrology market is the adoption of laser scanners across industries. There has been a huge demand for inspection of complex and structured objects in the manufacturing industry. 3D laser scanners are being used for identification of cracks or holes in the manufactured objects and are used in measurement of depth and dimension of complex objects. Laser scanners are also being used at heritage sites to capture historical structures that can be used for creating drawings and planning restoration. 3D laser scanners are also being used for crime scene analysis which helps to provide record of the entire scene of incidents.
With the advent of manufacturing 4.0 and industrial internet of things (IIoT), there would be an increase in automation and the need for in-line metrology. This would post lucrative opportunities for players in optical metrology market. Optical metrology integrated with IoT has the potential to boost the quality of production significantly by providing real-time feedback for the inspection of the quality goods.
Use of IIoT might achieve full integration of IoT devices in nearly every process of the manufacturing line including optical inspection in the forecast period. For instance, the Hexagon’s 360° smart inline measurement system offers reliable and accurate measurement results with reduced logistics effort and delays in the manufacturing processes. The system can solve problems in shorter duration leading to a fast responsive system and a detailed study and adaptive systems during breaks. IIoT is expected to generate revenue of nearly $15 trillion per year by 2030, which would boost the demand for optical metrology equipment in the coming years.
The optical metrology market is restrained by high equipment cost. Consumers can either purchase new optical metrology tools or outsource inspection and measurement services to optical metrology service providers. The high cost incurred in the purchase of the equipment, maintenance, calibration, hiring new employees capable of using the optical metrology equipment along with regular training, software maintenance and updates are expected to impede the market growth.
Optical Metrology Market - Competitive Landscape
Intensity of rivalry in this market is high primarily due to high exit barriers. Product launches and merger and acquisitions were the major recent activities in the optical metrology market. For instance, in January 2018, a key player, Nova Measuring Instruments Ltd. launched NOVAFit, a modelling software engine which enhances traditional modelling capabilities with advanced machine learning algorithms. The new software improves metrology capabilities and accelerates time to solution in complex 3D and high aspect ratio devices.
Some of the other key players operating in the optical metrology market are Nanometrics Incorporated, Nikon Metrology NV, Perceptron, Inc., Quality Vision International Inc., S-T Industries, Inc, Carl Zeiss Optotechnik GmbH, Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence, KLA-Tencor Corporation, Micro-Vu, Creaform Inc., FARO Technologies, Inc, GOM GmbH, and Mitutoyo Corporation.