Markets Update: How automation redefines manufacturing; Mass flow controller market growing

The mass flow controller market is expected to generate $1.58 billion by the end of 2025.


Global mass flow controller market expected to generate $1.5B by end of 2025

The mass flow controller market is expected to generate $1.58 billion by the end of 2025, expanding at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.6 percent from $891.9 million in 2017, according to a study conducted by Research and Markets.

The growth of the mass flow controllers market is attributed to the significant rise in semiconductor manufacturing in Asian countries and the U.S. The mass flow controller plays a major role in semiconductors manufacturing because it directly impacts efficiency and final product quality. As semiconductor manufacturing increases at an exponential, the demand for technologically enhanced mass flow conductors is also surging.

Other contributing factors include the advent of low-gas flow rate, less processing time, run-to-run repeatability and steady state performance of mass flow controllers. Other methods involved in the measurement of gas or liquid flow in semiconductor products manufacturing involve the measurement of volume flow and measuring pressure and temperature separately to calculate and control mass and density flow.

Automation will redefine manufacturing jobs

The U.S. manufacturing sector is projected to lose about 736,400 jobs over the next 10 years, the most of any sector. This rate of loss is less than in the preceding period (2006 to 2016). Automation-enabling technologies are expected to influence future projections. The misconception is that these technologies — robotics, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) — will yield an overall net decrease in employment rather than a reappropriation of roles and responsibilities.

ABI Research’s business-to-business technology survey of 455 U.S.-based companies across nine vertical markets found that 67 percent of manufacturing respondents had not implemented Internet of Things (IoT) solutions. Of those, 74 percent were either investigating, assessing or planning to deploy such solutions in the next 12 months. Survey results showed that 35 percent of respondents in manufacturing are assessing AI, and 47 percent have deployed or plan to deploy robotics solutions in the next 12 months.

IIoT-enabled plants create opportunities for MROs

Maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) companies leverage IIoT-based technologies such as big data and analytics, cloud infrastructure and mobility to gain a competitive edge. Frost & Sullivan’s recent analysis, "IIoT Predictive Maintenance—Redesigning the Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) Approach, 2018," identifies the roles of key end-user requirements, unmet needs and the role of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) technologies in redefining the value proposition of MRO distributors. To optimally meet market demand, MRO distributors need to simplify the supply chain by leveraging the online platform and embedding a track and trace feature to decrease the number of channels needed to procure products.

5G, cellular IoT deployments ramping up

The Ericsson Mobility Report forecasts cellular IoT connections to nearly double since November 2017 levels. They are expected to reach an estimated 3.5 billion in 2023, driven by ongoing large-scale deployments in China. Fueling the growth are new IoT cellular technologies such as NB-IoT and Cat-M1. Mobile operators have launched more than 60 cellular IoT networks worldwide using these technologies over the same underlying LTE network.

North America is expected to lead the 5G uptake. All major U.S. operators plan to roll out 5G between late 2018 and mid-2019. By end of 2023, nearly 50 percent of all North American mobile subscriptions are forecast to be for 5G, followed by Northeast Asia at 34 percent and Western Europe at 21 percent. Like previous mobile access technologies, 5G is expected to be deployed first in dense urban areas with enhanced mobile broadband and fixed wireless access as the first commercial use cases. Other use cases will come from industries such as automotive, manufacturing, utilities and health care.

ABI Research identifies 8 transformative technologies for smart manufacturing

ABI Research’s Smart Manufacturing Transformative Horizon report outlines how technologies fit together in smart manufacturing. The report identifies eight such transformative technologies: additive manufacturing, AI and machine learning, augmented reality, blockchain, digital twins, edge intelligence, IIoT platforms and robotics. Over the next decade, more dynamic factories will depend less on fixed assembly lines and immobile lines as manufacturers start to piece together other new technologies.

Additive manufacturing technologies are experiencing new growth. GE acquired Arcam and Concept laser in 2016, and Siemens announced an additive manufacturing platform in April. Other leading additive manufacturing specialists include EOS, Stratasys, HP and 3D Systems. Machine learning capabilities and simulation software have made digital twins useful for product development, production planning, product-aaS and asset monitoring and performance optimization.

Robotics use AI and computer vision and connect to IIoT platforms where they have digital twins. The importance of this connectivity and AI will increase as more cobots join assembly lines alongside humans.

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