As companies in process industries strive to improve plant efficiencies, the demand for advanced sensing technologies will continue to rise. Enhanced sensor technology has the potential to increase overall industry revenue that results in long-term savings. Over the next few years, technological and price barriers will fall away and will enable the creation of new applications for sensors in a wide range of industrial sectors.
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The sensor industry is constantly evolving with a number of new application areas being identified everyday. Application support holds the key to the development of technologies in the world of sensors. The quest for the next big application will boost sensor development. The prediction of novel sensor applications is not possible. However, sensor manufacturers are gearing up so that they are prepared to tackle the demands of new applications.
“While the evolving nature technologies in this sector could propel the development of new technologies, the fast pace of development may also act as a hurdle,” says Frost & Sullivan Technical Insight Research Analyst Archana Jayarajah. “Companies need to constantly update, upgrade and adopt new technologies as the existing technologies or products may face obsolescence.”
In a number of cases the core technology already exists and it is a matter of facilitating its adoption in an industrial situation. Typical industrial customers are very different from the commercial customers and consumers. For instance, an industrial scenario may require different capabilities in design, different timelines, different view of the supply chain and different support needs.
So, technology developed for and targeted at the commercial players may not necessarily be well suited for an industrial application. This may essentially mean the development of a completely new technology, but perhaps just a refocusing, or reoptimization of the existing technology.
Today's sensors offer a number of capabilities such as increased sensitivity, faster response, decreased hysteresis and longer-term stability and durability that have resulted in more accurate and reliable sensors. Further, there are now sensors that offer multiple types of measurements.
Frost & Sullivan finds that sensors and related technologies is an exploding market with developments occurring at a phenomenal rate. The manufacturing industry is introducing a number of new products and services that incorporate sensing technology and sensors are now mission critical to the industrial and process control sectors. Current opportunities are driven by developments in semiconductor technology, smart and 'intelligent' sensors and demands by the industrial users of sensors for cost effective yet complex products.
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