Predictions for Data Acquisition Solution Markets in 2012
With the last of eleven market studies covering the data acquisition (DAQ) solutions markets now being published I decided to take this time to reflect on what I learned over the last several months and to blog some informal predictions on what I may expect to see happen in the DAQ market in 2012 (admittedly I am not going out on many limbs with these).
- 2012 shipments of external chassis & modules (i.e. DAQ systems), plug-in data acquisition analog I/O boards and standalone (non-bundled) data acquisition software will likely exceed $1.5 billion globally, with DAQ systems accounting for almost 76%.
- Demand for modular data acquisition systems (one of eight platforms under study) will continue to grow at an above average market growth rate, comprising ~23% of DAQ systems shipments by 2012, as users desire the greater flexibility and ability to mix and match sensor inputs to meet their specific needs without spending on functionality which they do not require.
- The number of data loggers designed with LCD displays will increase as other suppliers begin to realize that offering video graphic type functionality in a data logger is a sure way to gain market share in that category, just ask Graphtec, Keyence, Hioki E.E. and Dranetz-BMI.
- Paperless chart recorder suppliers, for units with both >144 mm and <144 mm panel cutouts, will continue to make inroads into non-process focused markets as an increasing number of these customers realize the benefits of greater real-time visibility into their operations, most of which are increasingly being automated through technology investments.
- Demand for plug-in analog I/O boards will continue to lag that of most external chassis & module products as an increasing number of users seek out USB PC front ends as they are attractive as peripheral add-ons to computers that are portable and can easily be moved to another platform in a different location. Expectations in usage of USB 3.0 in all new PCs going forward is also expected to help fuel this trend.
- There will be at least one merger and acquisition within the data acquisition solutions marketplace. The overall market is too large and too fragmented to not experience continued consolidation. Assuming that some predict the future by looking in the rear view mirror of history, some likely targets to consider watching may include Spectris (HBM and Bruel & Kjaer), National Instruments and DynamicSignals LLC. Who knows, maybe ABB or Honeywell will decide to get a little more active in the market and decide to expand their product portfolio beyond paperless chart recorders by acquiring a smaller player.
Okay, so maybe I decided to go out on a limb somewhat with the last prediction but that is what makes these things fun. I welcome to learn about any predictions you may have and/or what you think of mine.