Mixed growth forecast for world lab analytical instrumentation


World laboratory analytical instrumentation market shows an increase of 4.4% from 2003 to $7.8 billion in 2004, according to recent research from Frost & Sullivan , with some segments expected to experience a high growth rate while other face a decline. The study examined three instrumentation areas: separation technologies, molecular analysis, and elemental analysis.

Preliminary results indicate that the separation technologies instrumentation segment is expected to grow at a high single digit growth rate. High-performance liquid chromatographs (HPLC) and electrophoresis instruments are among the fastest growing areas in this segment. The report attributes the increase to improvements in technology and product design.

In other areas, the study notes that molecular analysis instrumentation shows signs of weakening demand; within this segment, however, voltammetric and raman spectrophotometers are among the fastest growing areas. The elemental analysis instrumentation market will experience sluggish demand in 2004, except for surface analytical instruments. This trend is anticipated until 2011.

The report found that the world laboratory analytical instrumentation market is fast approaching maturity and that customers are demanding more features from analytical instruments. Cost, speed, and sensitivity of instruments are determining factors for procurement, says the study. The market has seen remarkable technological innovation in such areas as ultra-high-performance liquid chromatograph and lab-on-chip electrophoresis on one hand, while the fundamental design of the gas chromatograph has remained the same over the past 50 years, says Frost & Sullivan.

According to the report, competition in this market is intense. It recommends vendors stay ahead of competition by designing instruments to customer requirements, offering value-based services, and innovating and differentiating products and services, among other factors.

—Jeanine Katzel, senior editor, Control Engineering, jkatzel@reedbusiness.com

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