World level sensors market shows continuous growth


Global market for level sensors continues to grow, totaling $1.86 billion in 2004 and is expected to reach $2.83 billion by 2011, recent research by Frost & Sullivan indicates. “World Level Sensors Market” reveals the market grew at an annual rate of 4.1% in 2004 and has a projected growth rate of 7.9% in 2011. The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for the market for 2004 to 2011 is 6.2%.

Ultrasonic level sensors, followed by magnetostrictive sensors, account for the majority of revenues currently generated, says the report, adding that newer technologies such as radar, capacitance, and ultrasonic show increases. Data reveal that North America and Europe still hold the largest market shares at 37.2% and 33.3%, respectively; the CAGRs for 2004 to 2011 for North America and Europe are at 6.3% and 6.2%, respectively.

However, the study observes that low production costs in Asia Pacific are attracting level sensor manufacturers from the Americas and Europe to set up operations in that region. China is seen to pose a major threat to global manufacturers in terms of low-priced devices, but not in high-technology, expensive, and sophisticated sensors. The CAGR for Asia Pacific between 2004 and 2011 is projected at 5.9%, the report continues. All major technological innovations and improvements achieved in level sensing technology are mainly from North America and Europe, a trend that is expected to continue.

According to the report, the world level sensors market overall is seeing a shift toward combination sensing devices. One electronic device can measure more than one parameter. Level sensors are now incorporated with features that allow them to measure temperature, flow, and leak detection as well. Combination sensing devices reduce costs and avoid the need for another measuring device.

The challenge, says the study, is for U.S. manufacturers to compete against outsourcing to drag costs down without shifting to off-shore suppliers. “Having a prolonged or extended sales contract is very much needed,” says Rajender Thusu, F&S industry analyst. “This can help suppliers forecast the future needs of the customer and also estimate the component requirements needed for product manufacturing. But customers nowadays don’t opt for this kind of long-term sales contract. They choose the short-term contract, which places the supplier in a difficult situation.”

The study covers level sensors used to measure liquid levels in vessels, reservoirs, tanks, and in a variety of industrial applications using single-point, multi-point, or continuous measurement techniques. Technologies included in the survey were magnetostrictive, tuning fork, hydrostatic, capacitance, conductive, ultrasonic, and radar/microwave.

Jeanine Katzel , senior editor, Control Engineering

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