The need for dimensional metrology solutions to measure new aircraft designs or the latest lightweight bodies and components will sustain the metrology market. Demand from leading aerospace manufacturers for customized, end-to-end solutions is the primary driver for the market. The top five dimensional metrology companies account for 51 percent of the total market, with coordinate measuring machines (CMMs) and laser trackers being the most widely used metrology solutions. The key factors behind the success of these companies are their global presence, wide product portfolio, technical expertise, and robust project management skills.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (http://www.testandmeasurement.frost.com), Assessment of the Global Dimensional Metrology Market in the Aerospace Industry, finds that the market earned revenue of $482.9 million in 2012 and estimates this to reach $592.1 million in 2017. The research covers CMM, measurement gages, vision measuring machines (VMMs) as well as optical digitizers and scanners.
“Leading dimensional metrology vendors are seeing huge market opportunities for tailored metrology solutions in the high-precision metrology space in the aerospace industry,” stated Frost & Sullivan Measurement & Instrumentation Research Analyst Aravind Govindan. “Large CMMs and laser trackers with a set of new accessories, such as scanners and probes, can be customized based on end-user manufacturing and quality inspection processes.”
Companies such as Hexagon Metrology, Carl Zeiss, Mitutoyo Corporation and Nikon Metrology have built their product portfolio with a wide range of products that are indicative of their capabilities, intensifying competition. These top players are also leveraging their global reach to build an extensive regional presence and tap into opportunities in emerging countries, restraining the growth of medium-and-small sized dimensional metrology companies.
“CMMs continue to gain share over other technologies, such as VMMs and scanners, in the aerospace industry,” said Govindan. “They account for 67.2 percent of the total market.”
End users require high-precision and flexible solutions to measure complex structures through contact and non-contact based measurement methods. However, their receptiveness towards latest technologies, such as scanners and VMMs is estimated to be low. Leading dimensional metrology companies are educating end users on the benefits of VMMs and scanners as accessory products in order to generate steady revenue streams.
“Overall, dimensional metrology in the aerospace industry is transforming to accommodate a wide range of products,” said Govindan. “Continuous innovation and investments in technology will help win global aerospace clients and orders.”
Applications involving aerostructures and aeroengines contributed 59.6 percent to the dimensional metrology market in 2012, with Hexagon Metrology, Carl Zeiss, Mitutoyo Corporation, Nikon Metrology and Faro Technologies edging out competition. These application areas are driven by technology and quality and not by price.