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Frost & Sullivan sees 29% growth in dimensional metrology market in automotive by 2018 to more than $1.2B; automation, weight reduction and platforms

Rapid automation of automotive manufacturing plants, a focus on weight reduction, and vehicle platform strategies are key factors that will drive the demand for dimensional metrology solutions in the automotive industry, according to new analysis from Frost & Sullivan.

In a new report, Frost & Sullivan finds that the overall dimensional metrology market in the automotive industry earned revenue of $949.2 million in 2013 and forecasts this will grow 29% to approximately $1,225.1 million in 2018 (CAGR of 5.2%). While Frost & Sullivan expects the coordinate measuring machine (CMM) segment to account for 67.8% of the global dimensional metrology market in the automotive industry by 2018, it also expects that inline metrology (automated measurements fully integrated into a production line) will become the most desired solution for automotive applications, with advanced, fully-automated inline metrology systems powering the next-generation dimensional metrology solutions.

With growing interest in concepts such as Germany’s “Industry 4.0,” the trend toward automation is undeniable and continues to gain momentum. The inline metrology segment in the automotive industry is likely to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.2% until 2018, Frost & Sullivan predicts.

According to the report, “Analysis of the Dimensional Metrology Market in the Automotive Industry,” several powertrain and body-in-white (BIW) manufacturers will replace traditional, manual measurement solutions—such as CMMs, which measure the physical geometrical characteristics of an object—with inline metrology solutions. Moving forward, as companies strive to gain a competitive edge by robotizing their manufacturing plants, end-to-end automated inline metrology will be a key solution demanded by leading automotive manufacturers.

Elements of the dimensional metrology market. Hexagon Metrology, Carl Zeiss, Faro Technologies and Mitutoyo are currently amongst the top suppliers, accounting over 65.0% market share for the full dimensional metrology market. Frost & Sullivan expects the CMM segment to account for 67.8% of the global dimensional metrology market in the automotive industry by 2018. Source: Frost & Sullivan. Click to enlarge.

The report notes that BIW is expected to contribute to a 15% CO2 emission reduction by 2020 as key global original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) target at least 100 kg reduction year-on-year.

Materials such as advanced high-strength steel (AHSS); aluminum (Al); carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP); as well as innovative joining techniques such as collar joining and friction stir welding (FSW) are expected to contribute up to nearly half of the targeted overall weight reduction by 2020.

Further, vehicle platform strategies create a unique opportunity for substitution materials to be applied across a wider variety of vehicle segments, bringing scales of sustainability. Such trends the in end-user industry are likely to increase demand for the latest measuring machines with high accuracies, Frost & Sullivan posits.

Video from Hexagon Metrology describing its 360° SIMS offering, which includes a variety of cell configurations for robotic 3D Metrology and process control for automotive plants. Click to enlarge.

While North America and Europe have a large installed base that drives the demand for replacement, Frost & Sullivan expects the Asia-Pacific to see the most significant growth opportunities within the dimensional metrology market.


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