Global proximity sensor market: Growth drivers, challenges, and key trends

Global Proximity Sensor Market

The applications of proximity sensors have penetrated various industries; from consumer electronics to aerospace and defense to even food and beverages. According to Netscribes, consumer electronics will have the highest market share by 2023 and is expected to reach a value of $796 million. This is due to the growing usage of consumer electronics and household electronics, especially in smart home technologies. By 2023, the market value of the global proximity sensors will be valued at $3.31 billion.

Market drivers

Increased need for automation in manufacturing industries. With the emergence of IIoT, demands for components that can acquire and transmit information regarding the production process are on the rise. This drives the adoption of proximity sensors that serves as the most basic data acquisition device and also fulfills the requirements of monitoring, management, and fault detection in factories. The insights churned out of the data, provide information to the controllers about the factors that are impacting productivity, and help address the security concerns in the manufacturing house.

Demand for touch-free user interfaces in the automotive industry. Touch-free interfaces have become popular among automotive design engineers. There is a growing demand for wake-on-approach feature-based applications for audio panels, navigation systems, and more. Incorporation of proximity sensors enables these technologies to detect people and metal objects from a distance.

The new era of digitization in oil and gas extraction. To meet the growing energy demand, the mining industry has spent trillions in recent decades expanding its infrastructure. This is generating a huge demand for collating and interpreting data and then taking appropriate actions while minimizing risks in the lives of employees and the environment. Technologies and core physical infrastructure like proximity sensors in upstream, midstream, and downstream processes have the potential to digitize the operations of oil and gas extraction. The digital asset life cycle management initiatives rely on these specialized sensors to capture real-time information from physical assets, and subsequently on cloud-based analytics to process the data.

Challenges facing the global proximity sensor market

Proximity sensors’ functions are limited by certain operating parameters. Proximity sensors are susceptible to failure in temperature extremities. In some applications where they are exposed to cutting fluids and chemicals for prolonged periods, making them brittle and cracked, their life span can be severely impacted. The widespread adoption of proximity sensors for adverse applications like mining and energy utilities requires measures to overcome these drawbacks.

Need for new strategies to get a larger share of market value. Earning sustainable profit in the proximity sensor market is a challenge. Manufacturers can get only a fraction of the value generated in the overall value chain. This requires players to design a strategy so that they are able to keep a larger portion of the value generated for themselves, rather than it being distributed among intermediaries further downstream. The makers and providers of proximity sensors need to figure out where to position themselves in the value chain so they can maximize profits.

Industry 4.0 in the manufacturing sector. To cope with the demands of the industrial landscape of the modern world, smart proximity sensors facilitate real-time data collection and input-output link interfaces. This enables continuous monitoring and control of industrial processes. The era of sensor technology and interconnectivity of machines via IoT is driving the new manufacturing sphere. IoT sensors in Industry 4.0 allow manufacturing companies to implement complicated automation processes that improve productivity and maximize efficiency.

Era of application-specific integrated circuits (ASCI). New age proximity sensors have introduced changes in size and mounting options. Manufacturers are incorporating new technologies like ASIC to drive down their size and costs while increasing efficiency. This technology enables the integration of components onto a single chip which allows sensors to sense distances up to three times than that of traditional proximity sensors. ASIC technology also provides more precise sensor mechanisms. Manufacturers do not have to rely on special machines for the calibration process. The technology allows sensors to be calibrated digitally through programming devices.

Obstacle sensing, navigating, and fault detection in smart vehicles. Integration of proximity sensors in smart vehicles and autonomous vehicles has shown promising results. This technology is used to navigate vehicles in harsh weather and environment conditions. For instance, cars are equipped with several proximity sensors. The rotating roof-top light detects and measures the distance between vehicles. This builds up a 3D map, with the rear-mounted with ultrasonic sensors monitoring other cars’ movements, and other sensors that are mounted inside vehicles, such as those which regulate the temperature. These sensors can also identify faulty parts in cars and warn drivers in order to avoid accidents.

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