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Electronics Production | October 10, 2011

SMT equipment market to reach USD 11.2<em>bn</em> by 2017

Driven by burgeoning demand from emerging economies and end-use markets, technological advancements, and increasing opportunities from telecom, automotive and healthcare industries, the global SMT equipment market is projected to reach USD 11.2 billion by the year 2017.
The global SMT equipment market, which experienced a decline during 2008-2009 after a period of healthy demand growth for almost all equipment types during the last decade, revived by the end of 2010. The market’s rebound in 2010 was driven primarily by the strengthening of global electronics market. Production, investments as well as revenues bounced back to pre-recession levels.

China and the other Asian countries led the recovery process, while the resurgence in Europe though delayed has been relatively strong. The recovery is leading to demand surge in the sophisticated and premium SMT equipment segment, a segment in which the European manufacturers excel.

While the pent up demand has been a major contributor to the recovery, the SMT equipment market is also being driven by the introduction of new products and the growing trend towards miniaturization and higher production speeds. Increasing demand from 3G telecom networks, LCD television sets, mobile phone, and CFL and LED lighting end-use markets is also expected to foster demand for SMT equipment. Defense electronics is an application area offering enormous growth opportunities for the market.

Asia-Pacific, Europe and the United States dominate the global SMT equipment market, as stated by the new market research report on Surface Mount Technology (SMT) Equipment. Asia-Pacific offers maximum growth opportunities, due to the burgeoning economies and growing manufacturing representation from Western countries.

Asia-Pacific garnered a major share of the electronics manufacturing and original design manufacturing businesses, in turn, increasing demand for SMT equipment. Besides, the low level of sophistication of the domestic SMT industry in Asia presents opportunities for the Western equipment makers to foray into the market. In addition, burgeoning domestic demand from lighter and powerful applications such as automotive and medical technology industries is fuelling market’s growth.

Placement Equipment represents the leading product segment in the global SMT equipment market. The Asian market for SMT placement equipment registered healthy growth backed by the rising demand for electronic equipment. The segment was among the hardest hit by the recession due to a fall in demand across major end-user markets. Resurgence of Chinese market bolstered recovery of SMT market in Asia.

Nonetheless, European and North American markets are also witnessing strong recovery. Design and process innovations focused on improving the ease-of-use, productivity, versatility, speed and consistency of the placement equipment are also likely to spur growth in the SMT placement equipment market.

The market for SMT inspection equipment recovered from recession to register a significant growth rate in 2010. Increasing package complexity and tightening quality tolerances are enhancing the need for inspection processes to ensure complete product and process control, and reduce repair and rework costs. X-Ray Inspection Equipment and AO Inspection Equipment are expected to gain traction over next few years.

X-Ray Inspection Equipment is expected to gain from the integration of computer tomography and intuitive programming that resulted in its usage beyond conventional applications such as electronics production testing and non-destructive testing. Similarly, AO Inspection Equipment is projected to benefit from machine vision-based algorithms that feature easy programming capability, flexibility, and enhanced ability to detect faults and with few false call rates.

The SMT equipment manufacturing industry is mature and intensely competitive. The barriers to entry are high and margins are low on account of high expenditure on research, lack of price premiumization, and widespread commoditization. Technology turnaround times are also low, forcing companies to innovate regularly and innovate faster than the market.

As a result, market is expected to remain concentrated among existing players with new players finding it difficult to create any significant presence.

Major players profiled in the report include ASM Assembly Systems GmbH & Co. KG, Assembléon Netherlands BV, Conceptronic, CyberOptics Corporation, Electro Scientific Industries Inc., Electro Scientific Industries Inc., Fuji Machine Manufacturing Co., Ltd., Glenbrook Technologies Inc., Heller Industries Inc., Juki Automation Systems Inc., Koh Young Technology Inc., Nordson Corporation, Omron Corporation, Orbotech Ltd., Panasonic Corporation, PPT Vision Inc., Saki Corporation, Speedline Technologies Inc., Teradyne Inc., Teradyne Inc., Universal Instruments, Viscom AG, X-Tek Group Inc., and YXLON International FeinFocus GmbH.

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