According to a study by The Freedonia Group, US chemical sensor demand will increase nearly five percent per year to nearly $1.9 billion in 2017. A continued rebound in light vehicle production, along with the increasing use of advanced, higher cost universal exhaust gas oxygen (UEGO) sensors to improve vehicle fuel efficiency and performance, will drive advances. Growth will also be supported by healthy increases in medical chemical sensor demand as the continued aging of the baby boomer generation leads to above average growth in the diagnosis of diabetes and other chronic conditions.
More broadly, gains across the entire industry will be supported by strong unit volume demand as lower average prices for most product types, and improved chemical sensor performance due to technology advancements, encourage expanded sensor use and facilitate the development of new applications and markets.
Fuel economy requirements to drive motor vehicle market
Changes within the motor vehicle industry will have the greatest impact on chemical sensor demand going forward. The increased use of gasoline direct injection and turbocharged engines by vehicle manufacturers in an effort to comply with federal corporate average fuel economy requirements will necessitate the expanded use of higher cost UEGO sensors that allow engines to achieve both higher performance and better fuel efficiency. The shift in product mix toward the higher cost oxygen sensors, as well as the increased adoption of cabin air quality sensors, and robust increases in nitrogen oxide and ammonia sensor demand due to the strong rebound in medium and heavy duty truck production, will all support the strong gains in the motor vehicle market and chemical sensors overall.
Glucose monitors to support medical market
While most of the increases in electrochemical sensor demand will come from the motor vehicle market, growth will also be supported by the medical market. The aging of the baby boomer generation will fortify above average increases in new diabetes diagnoses and demand for portable blood glucose monitors. Rising medical chemical sensor demand will also reflect the development of new applications and the healthcare industry's increased reliance on testing and benchmarks as a means of not only improving patient care, but also reigning in rising health care costs.
Optical, semiconductor sensors to grow the fastest
Optical chemical sensor demand will rise at a strong pace. The increased usage of demand control ventilation in commercial properties and the greater adoption of cabin air quality systems in motor vehicles will drive the gains. Acceleration in chemical sensor demand growth in most environmental monitoring applications due to an expanding economy and the ongoing tightening of air and water quality standards will also support advances. However, even faster growth for optical sensors will be limited by declines in automobile emissions testing due to the falling number of vehicles that need to be tested via the tailpipe.
The fastest growth, albeit from a small base, will be realized by semiconductor sensors, which will benefit from better performance and low cost. In particular, growth in semiconductor sensors will, like optical sensors, be driven by the rising adoption of automobile cabin air quality control systems.
This upcoming Freedonia industry study, Chemical Sensors, is priced at $5100. It presents historical demand data (2002, 2007 and 2012) plus forecasts for 2017 and 2022 by product, analyte and market. The study also considers market environment factors, evaluates company market share and profiles 40 industry players.
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