VDC researches bar codes, RFID, switch and serial console servers

Several new reports from Venture Development Corp. (VDC) examine industry market growth in bar codes, radio frequency identification (RFID), and other areas.

By Control Engineering Staff October 10, 2007

Natick, MA —Several new reports from Venture Development Corp. (VDC) examine industry market growth in bar codes, radio frequency identification (RFID), and other areas.
In “Volume 3: Bar Code Printers,” researchers discovered the demand for bar code printers continued to shift to lower priced, higher performing models across all price classes. “In 2006, we say market share cascade throughout the various printer classes, with the highest-priced, performance-class segments losing share to their lower-priced counterparts,” said Kevin Permenter, VDC AIDC analyst. “Entry-class, and recently ultra-entry class, printers have improved their performance and functionality over the past few years, without dramatically increasing price, to shift the price performance tradeoff downward.”
The market approached $1.9 billion last year and is expected to grow almost 9% annually through 2011. More than 2.2 million units were shipped in 2006, a value expected to nearly double within five years.
The top end of the non-RFID bar code printer market accounted for more than $192 million in 2006 and should decrease 3% annually through 2011, due largely to losses from sales of lower-priced mid-range units. Additionally, growth for the lower end of the mid-range class will slow as entry-class products increasingly compete with these devices.
Meanwhile, the RFID handheld reader market is taking off, according to VDC in “Volume 2: RFID Readers.” Nearly 250,000 handheld RFID reader units were shipped last year, accounting for almost 20% of all reader units shipped.
“The handheld reader market exploded last year,” said Louis Bianchin, senior RFID analyst for the company. “We saw an increase in handheld unit shipments (as compared to 2005) of nearly 385% and are expecting growth rates in excess of 30% annually over the next five years.”
The global market for RFID readers exceeded $430 million last year and is forecast to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 23% through 2011. Stationary readers represented nearly two-thirds of all reader revenue; the highest growth is expected from handheld and module form factors. Driving trends include:
• Increasing requirements for smaller footprint devices in all form factors;
• Better basic interrogation performance (ruggedization, read/write rate, power);
• Lower pricing (expected at less than $350/unit by 2011); and
• Enhanced device functionality (integrated bar code scanning, embedded middleware, compatibility with legacy infrastructure).
The majority of handheld RFID readers deployed support HF or EPC UHF frequencies, operating in a range of applications in supply chain management and transportation management systems. A significant portion of handheld reader revenue in 2006 came from expanding pilot studies, small scale deployments, or larger RFID rollouts where integration into existing AIDC infrastructure was a core requirement.
Another VDC report, “KVM and Console Switch Solutions: Global Market Demand Analysis,” estimates that the 2007 KVM switch and serial console server shipments in North and South America will reach $590 million. The combined revenues in this region will have a compound annual growth rate of 7.8% (2007-2010). Contributing factors include the influence of IP connectivity, distributed remote management architecture, and globalization of business.gions could prove to be a disruptive force to KVM suppliers over the last few years of this study.” Regarding the serial console market, Girard added, “Enterprises are increasingly turning to serial console technologies to automate lighting, environmental controls, and other power consuming devices to lower overall electricity consumption. Power control is a key entry point into the managed systems market.”
Control Engineering News Desk
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