Strong Growth Behind – Strong Competition Ahead
The market for proximity sensors consists of three major technologies: capacitive sensors, inductive sensors, and ultrasonic sensors. Inductive sensors comprise the largest share of the market in terms of revenue and especially in terms of units.
After the devastating recession in 2009, the market for proximity sensors recovered quickly in 2010 and marginally exceeded pre-crisis levels in 2011. In 2012, we see a slowdown in growth but positive momentum will continue to dominate the market developments from 2013 onwards.
IO-Link has successfully entered some applications and technologies, mainly ultrasonic sensors and represents a fast growing market segment. In this manner, IO-Link is the exception in this market, as the sensor market is characterized by a mature product, which is basically a commodity. Technical trends in the sensor industry barely have an impact on overall growth, which is largely driven by the development in its core industries (machinery, automotive, food & beverage) and the overall business cycle.
The proximity sensor market is mature, highly competitive, and hosts a large number of suppliers. This has created a market that appears settled, but actually has a lot of movement going on beneath the surface. This especially includes brand labeling and partnering agreements.
Competition will remain strong during the upcoming years.
Success in the proximity sensors market is heavily dependent on manufacturing excellence, which ranges from the manufacturing process itself, to product design, outsourcing, and to global sourcing strategies. The following strategies are the most important factors for success identified by ARC.
• Avoid price competition
• Develop modular sensors
• Use brand labeling wisely
• Offer networking technologies
• Search out new markets
• Offer solutions instead of products
• Develop a local presence and customer relationships
• Provide sourcing strategies
• Identify and focus on growth markets – regional and industrial