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Proximity sensor market driven by economic crisis, study shows

Even though the economic crisis is dominating the outlook for the discrete sensor market for the next years, there are regional and industrial niche markets that offer the possibility to secure long term success in the middle of an economic downturn, says ARC Advisory Group.

The worldwide market for Inductive, Capacitive and Ultrasonic Proximity Sensors will decline this year but is expected to strongly rebound next year according to a new ARC Advisory Group study.

“Sensor suppliers have struggled a lot during the 1990s and all major suppliers developed strategies like brand labeling, partnerships, and modular design. The current economic climate is increasingly putting these strategies to the test,” said ARC analyst, Florian Güldner.

According to the report, to be an important player in the sensor market, a company needs to address the question of connectivity, since if the sensor is not compatible with the network used in a plant, sales will be lost.

Two networking standards have recently emerged in the discrete sensor area, the report says. These are CompoNet, promoted and supported by ODVA, and IO-Link, promoted and supported by Profibus. Each approaches the low-cost requirements of discrete sensor networks differently.

While IO-Link adds intelligence and flexibility into a standard 24V cable, CompoNet focuses on cost and speed. Currently, CompoNet is gaining most traction in Asia (driven primarily by Omron in Japan), and IO-Link is gaining most traction in Europe (driven primarily by Siemens in Germany), the report says.

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