Innovation key to success of PC-based test equipment

Limited capital and lack of consumer confidence have plagued PC-based test equipment vendors over the past several years, recent Frost & Sullivan research reveals.


Limited capital and lack of consumer confidence have plagued PC-based test equipment vendors over the past several years, recent Frost & Sullivan research reveals. As a result, innovation remains about the only way to achieve success, the firm suggests. Reduced investment capabilities have made most vendors view this market with uncertainty, the study notes. " World PC-Based Test and Measurement Equipment Market " found that revenue in this industry totaled $133.3 million in 2003 and is projected to reach $223.5 million by 2010.

"A restraint on spending has directly impacted PC-based test equipment sales," says Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Karthik Rajamani. "Though most vendors expect an economic revival soon, the question of when that will happen remains unanswered."

The situation has worsened since September 11, 2001, and the subsequent war on terror, the report goes on. Manufacturers find themselves in a dilemma because investment in research and development also remains curtailed. Those that have ventured into spending on R&D have gained market share and profitability, and have achieved a competitive edge by distinguishing their products in the market. However, most PC-based test equipment manufacturers are small or medium sized and not risk takers.

According to the report, focusing on specialized applications has helped sustain market growth and helped vendors establish themselves. A greater challenge lies in exploring techniques that could help bolster profitability and position PC-based test equipment as a complementary rather than a competing platform to peripheral component interconnect (PCI) extension for instrumentation (PXI), often favored as a better value option.

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—Jeanine Katzel, senior editor, Control Engineering,

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