5G and vehicle electrification are the major technology trends that will reshape the industry. Customer centricity and continuous innovation will be high on radar of T&M companies.
Accurate testing and measurement (T&M) is crucial for any technology product design and manufacturing process to ensure product quality. T&M systems play a critical role in ratifying the performance of a wide range of technology products. Moreover, increased product complexity has spurred a growing demand for precision testing at every stage of the product life cycle, starting from product design and development phase, to production testing, pre- and post-market testing, as well as support. Thus, growth of the T&M industry goes hand in hand with the growth of technological development, expanding end-user applications and growing need to validate the performance of equipment.
Other factors driving growth in the T&M domain are stringent quality, safety and environmental standards for manufacturing, maintenance and use of equipment. Moreover, proper implementation of government initiatives like Make in India, Smart Cities, Digital India and the defence manufacturing push have also opened new opportunities for T&M industry players in the country.
Globally, the T&M equipment market is growing. Enhanced adoption of electronic devices and increased penetration of modular instrumentation are some of the major factors driving this market. According to a report by Market Research Future (MRFR), valuation of the worldwide test and measurement equipment market is expected to touch USD 28 billion by 2023 (Fig. 1).
Frost & Sullivan, a market research firm, forecasts that the Indian market for general-purpose electronic T&M instruments alone will touch US$ 300 million by 2022 (Fig. 2).
Growth of the T&M market is a result of the growth registered by key end-user segments like telecom, automotive, aerospace and defence, electronics design and so on. Defence and other government sectors as well as education sectors have also been instrumental in driving the growth of the T&M market in India. Their key demand-driving application sectors are wireless communication, automotive and industrial.
T&M equipment plays a critical role for the telecom sector ecosystem partners including network equipment manufacturers, mobile device manufacturers and telecommunication service providers. A major driving factor for the growth of the telecom test equipment market is the introduction of new technologies and standards within the telecom industry.
Demand for test equipment is enhancing due to growing bandwidth demands and introduction of next-generation cellular and wireless technologies. Further, increasing R&D spending in the telecom sector along with growth in the cellphone market is expected to drive market growth.
Moreover, regulatory compliance, government support and constant technology developments are expected to boost the telecom testing equipment market in 2019.
Considering the announcement by Telecom Engineering Centre (TEC), Department of Telecommunications (DoT), for rolling out a Mandatory Testing and Certification of Telecom Equipment (MTCTE), the Indian T&M market is expected to see huge demand for test equipment and services, which are relevant to essential requirements for safety, electromagnetic interference (EMI), electromagnetic compatibility (EMC), radio frequency (RF), specific absorption rate (SAR) and other technical requirements. Moreover, India has a vast potential for mobile manufacturing, too. This, in turn, creates significant demand for T&M equipment and solutions related to mobile handset manufacturing.
The trend of automotive companies switching to automated testing is also driving up demand for T&M equipment. Moreover, increasing electronic content in vehicles for infotainment, connectivity and safety purposes, along with growing acceptance of green mobility (through e-vehicles) will also fuel the growth of the T&M sector. Besides, increase in R&D activities across the electronics industry value chain is expected to further drive up demand.
Demand for industrial automation across India has been growing at a rapid rate and is expected to grow further in the years to come. With growing demand, power generation, transmission and distribution companies will have to invest in reliable, accurate and efficient equipment to protect their assets from failure. Therefore growth prospects of T&M equipment related to the industrial electronics sector are quite promising.
India is an emerging solar hub of the world. Rise in the manufacturing of solar or photovoltaic cells requires high-performance test equipment for solar cell and module testing, which include power supplies, digital multimeters and electronic loads.
The strong government push to make in India in the aerospace and defence electronics sector indicates the bright future of the defence manufacturing ecosystem in India and related opportunities for the T&M segment as well.
Demand for oscilloscopes, spectrum analysers, RF communication testers and EMC solutions will grow at a high rate from industrial and automotive, aerospace and defence, and communications segments. According to the Frost & Sullivan report (Fig. 3):
- The oscilloscopes market is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 13.3 per cent from FY17 to FY22 due to increasing demand from all end-user segments.
- Demand for spectrum analysers will increase with the advent of new telecom technologies.
- Telecom and aerospace segments will drive the growth of RF communication testers at a CAGR of 10.5 per cent in FY17-FY22.
- The drive test solution market will decline gradually because of higher automation in industries that make error prediction easier.
- Demand for EMC is going to increase from the aerospace and defence sectors as well as new emerging technologies in industrial and automotive sectors.
The higher education sector has witnessed tremendous growth with more than 36,000 higher educational institutes in India. By 2030, it is estimated that higher education system in India would be among the top five in the world in terms of research output with an annual R&D spend of US$ 140 billion. Demand for low-range T&M products has been increasing among educational institutes and research institutes.
Key market regions
Major application segments for T&M products are in southern and western India. Major industries located in the western region include engineering goods, electricals and electronics. Key markets for T&M products in the western region are as follows:
- Mumbai: navy, aerospace and defence, manufacturing, industrial, education and research, communications, consumer electronics
- Pune: industrial, education and research
- Nashik: industrial
The southern region has the following markets for T&M products:
- Hyderabad: defence (DRDO RCI labs), industrial, education and research
- Visakhapatnam: navy, with major focus on light engineering, naval base
- Bengaluru: aerospace and defence, consumer electronics, education and research, industrial, communications, with the presence of public sector units such as Hindustan Aeronautics, Hindustan Machine Tools and Bharat Electronics
- Chennai: navy, aerospace and defence, education and research
Major manufacturing sectors in the northern region include electrical and electronics, and plant and machinery, with key focus on Delhi-NCR (industrial, automotive, communications, consumer electronics, aerospace and defence, education and research) as T&M market.
Engineering and electrical industries are prominent in the eastern region with key focus on Kolkata and nearby regions (industrial, education and research) as T&M market.
Focus on regional presence and tieups with local distributors who have good relations with customers and can be a front sales will lead to better results.
Along with huge opportunities, the Indian market also offers the following challenges to T&M players:
- Less focus on quality
- Highly price-sensitive nature
- No major incentive/subsidy from the government for capital investments in T&M
- No major incentives for exporters of T&M equipment
Therefore Indian T&M players need to focus on the right strategies to grow. For example, continuous innovation and focus on R&D are critical to sustain in the T&M market. Companies offering high-accuracy instruments with compact and innovative features will get a competitive advantage. However, customer awareness generation through regular product demonstrations and on-time aftersales service are must-to-do for any T&M market player. Moreover, T&M companies need to leverage government initiatives like Make in India, Digital India and Smart Cities. High focus on government tenders and maintaining continuous relations with government officials will help T&M players in increasing market share.