With denser and more complicated assemblies necessitating automated inspection processes, the SMT inspection market rebounded admirably from the slowdown, with a growth rate of 6.9% in 2010.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan finds that the market earned revenues of US$ 922.8 million in 2010. It is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 8.9% to reach US$ 1680.3 million in 2017.SMT manufacturers will have to increase investments in R&D to meet customer and industry requirements for constant innovation, if they are to survive in this market.
However, they will be hard pressed to balance rising R&D budgets with steadily decreasing average selling prices (ASPs). SMT equipment manufacturers can hope to offset their costs and obtain better margins by being the first to offer new, innovative, sophisticated and high-end equipment.
Product enhancements are critical in a market that is experiencing rising demand for increased resolution, more software interface, accurate algorithms and higher throughput. In the next seven years, the segments that are likely to gain the most are AO inspection equipment and X-ray inspection solutions.