Advancements in nanotechnology, electronics, smart materials, and green manufacturing are translating into an increased demand for high-precision dimensional metrology equipment for electronic manufacturing. In short, this equipment helps in the research and development of products in measuring size, structure, and ergonomics of a product and in quality inspection. The average price per unit in the sector is $40,000.
In their recent analysis, Global Dimensional Metrology Market in Electronic Manufacturing, Frost and Sullivan report that revenues of $1.91 billion in 2012 should grow at a slow but steady compound annual growth rate of 5.4%, reaching $2.55 billion in 2017. The two main drivers of this growth are “coordinate measuring machines” or Vision Measuring Equipment (VMM) and optical digitizers and scanners (ODS) such as laser trackers and 3D laser scanners. The North American market will see the greatest growth in high-end applications because it has been the leader in adopting dimensional metrology to improve products and efficiency. But Asia, with its emerging markets, is beginning to step up demand, and will grow fastest in low-cost applications.
Nanotechnology is leading to miniaturization of more complex, innovative and efficient equipment capable of high accuracy nanometer and micrometer measurements while being capable of multitasking and flexibility. Examples of this equipment include vision measuring machines and white light scanners typically used in the manufacture of semiconductors, integrated circuits, mechanical systems (MEMS), and electronic fabricators (FABS).
According to the report, the drive toward more economical and sustainable manufacturing systems and the products they deliver in the midst of tighter budgets is driving the upswing in adoption of nanotechnology-based manufacturing. Nanotechnology is also allowing customized solutions to manufacturing problems that will lead to increased profits for dimensional metrology vendors.