According to a recent report of the X-ray inspection systems market for nondestructive testing applications, the evolution to new applications has driven the uptake of X-ray inspection systems.

While advancements in technology and emergence of new application areas are making a strong case for X-ray inspection systems, it is the rising standard of quality and safety of critical structural components that is expected to bring in the revenues. Recent industrial disasters such as the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico have placed the spotlight on the need for stringent quality control programs. Reacting to such incidents, governments across the globe have announced plans to strengthen laws to prevent industrial debacles.

The aerospace industry, in an effort to fulfill high standards of safety and quality, has traditionally been the first to adopt the latest advances in X-ray technology intended for the field of medicine, said the analyst of this research. Examples of these advances are high volume, safety critical inspection applications, repair and maintenance applications, and precision 3-D material analysis.

Apart from rising usage in key end-user industries such as aerospace, oil and gas and automotive, new application areas such as food safety inspection hike the demand for X-ray equipment. However, despite the increasing applications and growing need for greater productivity, quality, and accuracy of inspection, the global economic downturn has caused end users to scrutinize maintenance and inspection budgets

Although there are numerous advantages offered by digital X-ray, customers unwillingness to move away from tried and tested techniques such as film-based inspection restrains short-term market growth potential and leads to limited investment in new technologies.

Although the transition to a filmless future is a continuous and ongoing trend in the X-ray inspection market, film continues to play a crucial role in meeting the nondestructive testing needs of customers, notes the analyst. Particularly, in such trying economic conditions, companies with lower financial resources are unwilling to make large investments in digital radiographic technology. To attract higher investments, X-ray inspection vendors have to work closely with standards bodies and customers to understand their specific needs while leveraging advancements in technology to provide easy-to-use solutions.

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