According to a report (RG-228R The Process Spectroscopy Market) from Business Communications Company, the worldwide market for process spectroscopy instrumentation is expected to grow from $178 million in 2004 to $232 million in 2009, an average growth rate of 5.4%.
NIR is expected to constitute the largest part of the market in 2009, with sales of $71 million due to the impact of the PAT initiative. The highest growth rate is expected among Raman spectrometers, with an average of 8% over the period. Raman is expected to be validated as a PAT technique, helping its growth.
Several trends are seen to influence the market. There is an increasing tendency for UV and visible systems manufacturers to develop cheaper, more portable versions of their high-end systems in response to competition from miniature spectrometers. Development of low-cost Raman devices is seen as well. NIR and FT instruments do not see significant competition from portable devices, and high-end systems, particularly in the NIR, continue to dominate many process markets.
New technologies, however, have the potential to change that situation. Micro-electro-mechanical-systems (MEMS) technology offers the potential to make a “spectrometer on a chip” and are expected to become a viable option for process monitoring, if not during the forecast period, then shortly after. Acousto-optic tunable filters (AOTFs) are being produced commercially and used in NIR systems selling in the $45,000 range. Both of these are seen as indicators that the process spectroscopy market 10 years from now may be significantly different from today’s market, with cheaper and more portable systems operating in many manufacturing applications. www.bccresearch.com