MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA-High availability is one of the prominent factors driving growth in the North American used and rental general-purpose test equipment markets. End users are contemplating rent/lease general-purpose test equipment when the term of requirement is short. The entry of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) into the used equipment market has certainly enhanced quality standards for used general-purpose test equipment, providing a favorable environment for trading the same. Demand from the aerospace segment has revved up prospects for this market.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan North American Used and Rental General-purpose Test Equipment Markets, finds that the market earned revenues of $605 million in 2009 and estimates this to reach $787 million in 2015. The study covers electronic counters, oscilloscopes, network analyzers, spectrum analyzers, signal generators, power meters and multimeters.

"Research indicates that there is increasing acceptance of used test equipment in the aerospace and defense (A&D) industry as it can be well integrated with the existing system," says Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Prathima Bommakanti. "Another positive factor for used general-purpose test equipment in the A&D industry is users' preference for replacement with the same type of equipment to avoid complexities with reconfiguration."

Due to the economic slowdown, end users prefer to make operating expenses (OPEX) rather than capital expenses (CAPEX) whenever necessary. CAPEX is not an option unless the usage of the equipment is highly critical. The cost saving factor boosts the appeal for used general-purpose test equipment. End users can save around 20-50% of the cost of new general-purpose test equipment.

However, the economic slowdown since 2008 has caused a measure of angst for leading suppliers. Despite consolidation and an expected growth rate of more than 3% in 2010, participants opine that the market is not yet out of the woods.

The market is flooded with new equipment, and OEMs are offering them at severely discounted prices that are almost the same as the price of used equipment. This has impacted demand in the used general-purpose test equipment market. The supply vs. demand ratio had a huge impact on the pricing of both new and used equipment. Intensifying price pressure is another factor impeding market progression.

"The highly price-conscious nature of the industrial customer constantly places pressure on the used general-purpose test equipment suppliers to offer discounts and reduce prices," says Bommakanti. "This restricts the revenue growth potential of this market in the long term."

In such a scenario, customers are being driven to scrutinize suppliers' cost structures, thereby emphasizing the need for operational efficiency. Apart from cost, quick delivery of equipment and initial training are the key criteria for end users when choosing a used/rental general-purpose test equipment supplier. Commendable customer service is vital to enable successful business outcomes.

Savvy suppliers are providing value added services, such as calibration certificates and guarantees, which up the attraction quotient for used equipment. Customers also are embracing robust Web services. Online services such as, TestMart, and eBay are finding huge patronage. The convenience of understanding the equipment specification and corresponding prices triggers sales through these platforms.

North American Used and Rental General-purpose Test Equipment Markets is part of the Test & Measurement Growth Partnership Service program, which also includes research in the following markets: European Used and Rental Test Equipment Markets, World Gigabit Ethernet Test Equipment Markets, and World Signal Generators and Arbitrary Waveform Generators Market. All research services included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends that have been evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.