In the competitive laboratory equipment marketplace, spending on research and development is a key driver – if not the key driver – for growth. Research institutions, be they government funded or private entities, play an important role.

Certain trends in technology development are fairly universal, bridging instrument types and applications. Customers want to save space in their laboratory or work area, or better still want devices that are portable for use in the field. These factors mean that many devices are becoming smaller, and that miniaturizing product lines is a fruitful avenue for many manufacturers to pursue.

However, no instrument manufacturer can afford to become complacent. Technology in this market changes very rapidly, with customers expecting a frequently updated and improved offering from their suppliers. This fact alone can make it difficult for smaller equipment manufacturers to compete. Many smaller, independent firms have been swallowed up by large multi-national companies.

Getting local-for-local support is a big consideration for any plant manager, so it’s imperative now for any credible business to deliver that for the long term.

Todd Newell, Product Marketing Manager, Servomex Americas

According to the report US Analytical Instruments Market Forecast by market research consultancy RNCOS, recent years have seen a strong pattern of demand for analytical instruments and automation products worldwide. The US has played a leadership role in further strengthening the market potential, the report suggests. Leading companies have seen increased revenues, marked by factors such as high investments, strict regulations and compliances, and product innovations.

The US market for analytical instruments was worth around US$ 6.6 billion in 2011. Market growth is linked to spending by companies in industries including chemicals, food & beverage, oil & gas, electric utilities, and pharmaceutical. In addition to the demand for quality, government impetus to ensure safety across a range of industries is another important driver.

Despite the recent economic downturn, a large part of the analytical instrumentation market is somewhat shielded as both governments and large private companies who use analytical devices continue to invest as part of their on-going spending. The economic slowdown impacted the market in 2009, but the post-recession period is likely to bring increased spending from end-users. By 2014, the US analytical instruments market may reach US$ 7.3 billion, the report predicts.

“The analytical market remains robust,” Todd Newell, Product Marketing manager at Servomex Americas told Specialty Gas Report. He continued: “while Servomex sees some regional fluctuations, demand remains resilient among key markets such as industrial gases and hydrocarbon processing. In terms of demand, customers are becoming ever more conscious of ensuring best performance and securing long term cost of ownership, so we have to respond with solutions that very specifically match the customer’s application.”

“Our response has been to expand our base of sensor technologies – either through innovation, such as the development of our new TruRef TCD technology, or through the integration of new technologies such as the Delta F range of oxygen and moisture analysers – but to ensure we have the regional sales and service presence to match,” Newell explains. “Getting local-for-local support is a big consideration for any plant manager, so it’s imperative now for any credible business to deliver that for the long term.”