While there is no denying the contributions made by the advancements in technology and emergence of new application areas 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.

Analysis from Frost & Sullivan World X-ray Inspection Systems Market, finds that the market earned revenues of $344.2 million in 2009 and estimates this to reach $450.6 million in 2014.

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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," says Frost & Sullivan Industry Analyst Vijay Mathew. "Examples of these advances are high volume, safety critical inspection applications, repair and maintenance applications and precision three-dimensional (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.

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 Mathew. "Particularly, in such trying economic conditions, companies with lower financial resources are unwilling to make large investments in digital radiographic technology."