Flow Research (www.flowresearch.com) has published a new study on temperature sensor technology, titled “Market for Temperature Sensors in the Americas, 2nd Edition.” The study is based on more than 250 interviews with temperature suppliers. It includes a technology and product analysis, market share and market size data, and provides in-depth segmentation of the market by various product and geographic categories. It also includes market growth projections through 2010 for five types of temperature sensors, plus thermowells. Detailed market strategies are provided for suppliers, and 71 companies are profiled. Data is provided for the United States, Canada, and Latin America.

This study provides the following information:
• Market size in dollars and units for each temperature sensor type
• Growth forecasts through 2010 for each temperature sensor type
• Market shares for each type of temperature sensor
• Detailed product descriptions by supplier
• Growth factors for the temperature sensors market
• Growth forecasts for temperature sensors by industry
• Strategies to employ to compete successfully in the temperature sensors market
• Profiles of 71 suppliers to the temperature sensors market
• Temperature sensor sales by distribution channel
• Temperature sensor sales by customer type

The study covers such technologies as:
• Thermocouples
• RTDs
• Thermistors
• Infrared thermometers
• Fiber-optic temperature sensors
• Thermowells

The study examines the status of several trends originally identified in the first edition, published in 2000. Among these are a shift from contact to noncontact temperature sensors and a shift from wirewound to thin-film RTDs.

The study shows how much the market has grown in the past six years, including market size in dollars and units. Information is provided for each temperature sensor type.

The following describes the temperature sensors included in the study:

Thermocouples — Thermocouples are the most widely used temperature sensor in industrial manufacturing environments. Thermocouples consist of two wires made of different metals that are joined at one end, called the measurement junction. At the other end of the conductors, a reference junction is formed. When the measurement junction and the reference junction have different temperatures, a continuous current flows in the circuit. The resulting voltage is a function of the difference in temperature between the measurement and the reference junctions. The amount of voltage depends on the types of metals used. A voltmeter or other device is required to interpret the voltage reading as a temperature value.

RTDs — Resistance temperature detectors, or RTDs, make use of the fact that resistance to the flow of electricity in a wire changes with temperature. Platinum is the most commonly used material for the wire. There are two types of RTDs: wirewound and thin film. Wirewound RTDs consist of wire wound on a bobbin, which is enclosed in glass or metal. For thin-film RTDs, a film is etched onto a ceramic substrate, and sealed. RTDs are more accurate and stable than thermocouples, but cannot be used to measure extremely high temperatures.

Thermistors — Like RTDs, thermistors also change resistance with changing temperatures, but they are more sensitive than RTDs or thermocouples. Thermistors change their resistance much more significantly than RTDs with changing temperature. However, this change is highly nonlinear. Because of their extreme sensitivity and nonlinearity, thermistors are limited to measuring temperatures of a few hundred degrees Celsius. They are less rugged than RTDs, further limiting their application.

Infrared Thermometers — Infrared thermometers are used to measure temperature when contact measurement, using thermocouples, RTDs, or thermistors, is not possible. For example, they are used to measure the temperature of moving objects, such as moving machinery on a conveyor belt. They are also used where contamination is present, for hazardous reasons, or where the distance is too great for contact sensors. Portable infrared thermometers are sued when it is desirable to measure temperature at a distance. Infrared sensors detect the infrared energy given off by materials. The most common design includes a lens to focus the infrared energy onto a detector. The amount of infrared energy is then converted into a temperature measurement according to specifiable units.

Fiber-Optic Temperature Sensors — Fiber optic temperature sensors are a noncontact form of temperature measurement that uses optical fibers in making temperature measurements. Most fiber optic temperature sensors work by placing a temperature-sensing component on one tip of the optical fiber. The other end is attached to a measuring system that collects radiation and processes it into a temperature value.

Technology Shifts Characterize Market
According to the study, technology shifts are probably the single most important factor characterizing this temperature sensors market. There is a shift away from contact temperature sensors towards noncontact forms of temperature measurement. Handheld infrared thermometers measure temperature at a distance. Fiber-optic temperature sensors, though more expensive, are used to measure temperature in hazardous situations.

Technology shifts are also occurring within the contact temperature sensor market. The study shows how the thermocouple, RTD, and thermistor markets today compare to the markets of 2000. It also compares the expected growth rates of these different types of sensors through 2010.

Market Shares of Leading Suppliers
Th study identifies leading suppliers for each temperature sensor type. Market shares for each sensor type are provided for the United States, Canada, and Latin America. The study reveals two major suppliers of thermocouples and RTDs in Brazil and another one in Argentina. It also tells you which company dominates the thermocouple and RTD markets in Canada. The U.S. market is covered for all types of temperature sensors.

List of Companies Profiled:
ABB
Abbeon Cal
Acrolab Ltd.
Alloy Engineering Company, Inc.
ARI Industries
Athena Controls
BetaTHERM Corporation
Burns Engineering
Chromalox
Cleveland Electric Laboratories
Conax Buffalo Technologies
Consistec
Convectronics
Cooper-Atkins Corporation
Cornerstone Sensors, Inc.
CSI International
C-Temp
Daily Thermetrics
Ecil
Electronic Development Labs
Emerson Process – Rosemount
Enercorp Instruments
Engelhard
Eurotherm Barber-Colman
Eustis Pyrocom
Exergen
Fiso Technologies
Furnace Parts
Gayesco
GE Sensing
Harco Laboratories
Heraeus Holding GmbH
Honeywell Sensing and Controls
Idaho Laboratories Corp.
IOPE Precision Instruments
IPITEK, Inc.
Ircon, Inc.
JMS Southeast, Inc.
JUMO Process Control
Koenig-Pretempco
KRL / Bantry Components, Inc.
Land Instruments International
Linear Labs
Luxtron Corporation
Mac-Weld Machining
Marlin Manufacturing
Measurement Specialties
Mikron Infrared
Minco Products
Omega Engineering, Inc
Pyromation
Raytek Corporation
RdF Corporation
RTD Company
Sandelius
Sensor Scientific
Sensotec
Smart Sensors Inc.
Texas Thermowell Industries
ThermoCoax
Thermo Electric Co., Inc.
Thermo-Kinetics Company
Thermoteknix Systems Ltd.
United Electric Controls
U.S. Sensor
Vulcan Electric
Watlow
Weed Instrument
Wika Instruments, Ltd. / Alltemp
Williamson Corporation
YSI, Inc.