The global market for 3D Metrology is projected to reach US$15 billion by 2025, driven by the undisputed importance of metrology in today's industrialized world. Defined as the use of measurement science in manufacturing, production, public safety, public health, environment protection/monitoring, fair trade and science and research, metrology predominantly revolves around the development of measurement instruments, their calibration and quality control. The importance of accurate measurement cannot be overstated given its ability to impact product quality, safety, usability, profitability of manufacturing companies and finally growth of the economy. In manufacturing, different types of metrology are used such as length metrology, angular metrology, hard metrology and dimensional metrology, all of which play key roles in ensuring product consistency and repeatability, while eliminating production errors. 3D metrology, which utilizes 3D optical scanners, offers superior benefits when compared to conventional metrology solutions. These include better visualization and rapid resolution of quality issues; overall improvement in design, manufacturing, and production workflows; helps improve cycle times and productivity; helps implement tighter quality standards for parts and components; more rapid inspection times, faster time to market of products, higher profits and improved competitiveness. 3D metrology provides a smarter way to manufacture products in a manner that eliminates repetitive processes, rework, and iterations by ensuring dimensional adherence in accordance with design specifications. In addition to accuracy and precision as prime benefits of 3D metrology, the technology also enables easy troubleshooting without consuming expensive production resources for preliminary production runs. For instance, 3D metrology is capable of providing rich data on malfunctioning products, without needing to manually disassemble the product or manufacture each part to test the revisions made. Quality in terms of shape, weight, height, length, color, texture can be digitally verified and the modified measurements can be used to re-produce the product. In short, 3D metrology is extremely useful in not just comparing CAD models with original products but also for reverse engineering equipment and performing detailed delineation and analysis of damaged equipment.
Given the importance of meteorology in manufacturing, the market is expected to benefit from healthy production trends in automotive, aerospace, electronics and machine parts and components. Also, mass production of micro precision parts; tighter tolerances; higher precision; increasing miniaturization of automotive and aircraft components; and shorter product development cycles; are pushing up the challenges involved in parts and component manufacturing. The scenario bodes well for the adoption of 3D metrology. The rise of Industry 4.0/smart factory and the resulting growth in penetration of industrial automation technologies is pushing up manufacturing opportunity for mechanical components for factory automation equipment and devices. A key trend in the market is the growing popularity of metrology automation as companies search for newer and innovative ways to increase productivity without compromising on accuracy. Automated 3D robotic scanning and inspection systems built and programmed to identify variations in products such as distances between edges, positions of holes, diameters and shapes of holes etc., help in greatly enhancing manufacturing efficiency. A growing number of vendors are offering 3D metrology solutions capable of providing captured data in snapshots, videos, images, tables, diagrams, text and graphics compatible with MSOffice, PDF, MP4, AVI and CAD drawings. The United States, China, and Europe represent large markets worldwide with a combined share of 68.3% of the market. China ranks as the fastest growing market with a CAGR of 10.6% over the analysis period supported by the country's powerful economic planning aimed at enhancing its manufacturing competitiveness as it seeks to integrate into the global manufacturing chain dominated by industrialized economies such as EU, Germany and the United States and move from being a low cost competitor to a direct added-value competitor. At the top of the priority list for China is the migration from a low value added export oriented manufacturing platform to a global industrial power.
Competitors identified in this market include, among others, 3D Systems Inc., Applied Materials Inc., Automated Precision, Inc., Bruker Corporation, Carl-Zeiss Industrial Metrology, GOM GmbH, Creaform Inc., CyberOptics Corporation, FARO Technologies Inc., Hexagon AB, Jenoptik AG, Keyence Corporation, KLA Corporation, Mitutoyo Corporation, Nikon Metrology NV, Perceptron Inc., Renishaw plc, WENZEL Group GmbH Co. KG, Zygo Corporation.