Manufacturing Sector Growth in APAC to Increase Demand for Safety Sensors and Switches

NEW YORK -- Safety sensors and switches play a vital role to ensure safety of employees and workers in factories and production units across industry verticals.The safety sensors are the presence detection equipment most commonly used in machine guarding applications to detect the presence of any object or body. The safety switches are safety devices which monitor movable safety guards such as doors, covers, shafts and so on. These products act as a bridge in Human Machine Interface (HMI) related environment interactions to avoid work hazards. Safety sensors and switches have a wide range of applications in manufacturing processes such as material handling, packaging, assembly, robot cells, conveyor systems, and transport systems and so on.

These manufacturing processes are the central part of many industries such as aerospace, automotive, food and beverages, pharmaceutical, paper and pulp, oil and gas, mining, semiconductor and so on. The safety sensors and switches encompass a wide range of products which includes light curtains, mats, laser scanners and switches such as limit switches, hinge switches, non-contact magnetic switches, position switches, door switches, and safety interlock switches and so on.

The rising demand for end products in automotive, food and beverage, pharmaceuticals and semiconductor and surge in economies of emerging countries such as China, India, Brazil and Russia (BRIC) welcomes more manufacturing plants and production facilities. The safety sensors and switches market is forecast to have significant market potential in the coming years, owing to the increasing demand from end user industries. Between 2014 and 2020, the global safety sensors and switches market is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 3.1% to reach $3.3 billion by 2020.

The major driving forces for the safety sensors and switches market include stringent safety requirements to protect the workers in the manufacturing industries by government authorities, evolution of machine safety products and technologies, increasing awareness of machine safety products and increasing demand for manufacturing plants across the world. Manufacturing industries use heavy machines and have the potential to cause severe workplace injuries to labor, such as crushed fingers or hands, amputations, burns or blindness. Hence, necessary safety precautions are essential. Demand for the products shipments is estimated to hence reach 121.64 million units by 2020 from around 88.9 million units in 2014, rising at a healthy CAGR of 5.4%. However, the major constraints and challenges pertaining to this market include the complexity of new technologies, price sensitivity and lack of pro-activeness from safety systems manufacturers with regards to product up-gradations.

To ensure safety and productivity, machine safety equipment is regulated to meet stringent standards with both International and Domestic standards. The International Electro-technical Commission (IEC) and International Organization for Standardization (ISO) jointly prepared the IEC/ISO Guide 51 as a criterion for establishing standards concerning machinery safety. Every geographic region has laid down their respective standards for machine safety: Europe has set down Machinery Directive which deals with machinery and safety components; the regulatory bodies in North America region include Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL), American National Standards Institute (ANSI), Canadian Standards Association (CSA) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA); China Compulsory Certification (CCC) is a mandatory certification system pertaining product safety in China and Japanese products are checked under the Electrical Appliance and Material Safety Law.

Sick AG, Pepperl+Fuchs, Rockwell Automation are the key players in the global safety sensors and switches market; the top sic companies in this market together account for around 80% market share. Omron Corporation, ifm Electronic and Datalogic S.p.A are some of the other key players in the industry. Europe holds the majority share with more than 40% share due to the presence of a large number of suppliers and end user verticals, followed by Americas. The emerging economies such as China, India, and Brazil are set to play a vital growth partner role for the safety sensors and switches market in the next five years.

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