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Automated optical inspection (AOI) system market to witness a double-digit CAGR over 2018-2024, automation applications to drive the industry expansion

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Rapid industrialization and increased demand for electronic components has propelled the automated optical inspection (AOI) system market expansion, with rise in consumption of automotive and consumer electronics. AOI systems have gained immense momentum for fast and accurate inspection of electronics assembly lines to facilitate the production of only the highest quality PCBs and surface-mount devices. Constant innovations in smartphone technologies and automotive electronics has reinforced the need for lowering time and cost of production, necessitating the involvement of the AOI system industry. Estimated to have recorded earnings of more than US$500 million in 2017, the global AOI system market will experience an accelerated growth rate from augmented industrial automation.

U.S. automated optical inspection (AOI) system market, by end-use, 2017 & 2024 (USD Million)
U.S. automated optical inspection (AOI) system market, by end-use, 2017 & 2024 (USD Million)

Automation has been a trending process among manufacturers around the world, and more factories are expected to be completely automated in the near future with advancements in communication and robotics. As the field of electronics production get more competitive, achieving the balance between manufacturing speed and quality through automation is considered to be a major factor for success. The AOI system industry is crucial in providing powerful solutions to help manufacturers monitor processes and greatly improve their overall quality. AOI systems can now be integrated with robots, pneumatics and other process components to offer precision quality control.

Increasing focus on consumer protection and the need for reducing the costs involved in 100% inspection process will further bolster the AOI system market. 100% inspection is critical for segments where a human life could be put at risk, for instance medical devices, portable electronics and automobiles. A while back, certain smartphone product launched by Samsung was under scrutiny due to exploding batteries which endangered the users while being charged or operated. It was found out that the leading cause of explosions was improper assembly of batteries, stressing the importance of inspection in automation. Experts believe the company could have avoided this fiasco by adopting quality inspection systems, such as AOI, for inspecting all batteries and not just samples.

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Speaking further on the significance of the AOI system market, electronic components are becoming smaller in size, making it difficult to perform accurate and fast checks manually. PCBs for different applications require hundreds of parts to be soldiered or mounted on them in a short period of time, needing AOI systems to inspect each and every part, either in pre-manufacturing stages or post-production. Many global industries are adopting fully-automated manufacturing processes for not only PCB production but also cars and consumer electronics. Subsequently, the AOI system industry will witness robust demand over the coming years.

To elaborate, Volkswagen recently announced that it would be construction its electric vehicle manufacturing facility near Shanghai, China, where fully-electric SUVs and other e-vehicles will be made. The company said the new facility will consist mainly of robots, around 1,400 of them, and will be operational by 2020. The expected 300,000 per year capacity of the factory represents extremely high

levels of automation that will be implemented and signifies a key application area for the AOI system market. Government rules and international standards regarding vehicle quality and safety have boosted the demand for advanced AOI systems, as they can match the complexity and speed of automated manufacturing.

Over the years, AOI systems have been optimized to collect data and provide feedback so that the manufacturing process can be improved, and any suitable adjustments are made. When used during the assembly or soldering process, AOI helps to inspect the quality of the product as it is being made, which considerably lowers the need for post-production inspections. The AOI system industry can benefit from the tremendous development in optical sensors and miniaturization of inspection cameras. The enormous opportunities for the implementation of AOI can be surmised from industry estimates which peg the global process automation segment to be valued at nearly USD 50.3 billion by 2020.

As more companies look towards AOI for ensuring a fast, reliable and cost-efficient quality control in manufacturing and process automation, the AOI system market is anticipated to register a 12% CAGR between 2018 and 2024. Viscom AG, Cyberoptics Corporation, AOI Systems, Nordson, ASC International, Omron Corporation and Kurtz Ersa, are some key players outlining the AOI industry dynamics. Compliance with evolving engineering standards and demand for higher quality of products will drive innovations in AOI technology.

Author Name :Pankaj Singh

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Enumerating the role of 3D printing in automotive market: How the technology is changing the face of automobile manufacturing & prototyping

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Additive manufacturing technologies over the past years have made a strong case in product innovation and 3D printing in automotive market, in particular, has significantly transformed the potential ways in which products are designed, manufactured, and distributed. The additive manufacturing techniques have also opened doors for lighter, cleaner, and more safe products with comparatively lower cost and shorter lead time. Quite overtly, these physiognomies have paved a lucrative way for the commercialization matrix of automotive 3D printing market, which has already chronicled its name in the coveted billion-dollar fraternity in 2017. According to a report by Global Market Insights, Inc., the global 3D printing in automotive market was estimated at over USD 1.4 billion in 2017, while registering annual sales of 3D printers over 110 thousand units.

U.S. 3D Printing in Automotive Market Revenue, By Component
U.S. 3D Printing in Automotive Market Revenue, By Component

Given the proliferating 3D printers sale in the automotive sector, it has been identified that accelerating production is the highest priority the auto companies are relying on 3D printing for, climbing from 29% in 2017 to 39% in 2018. Auto manufacturers are increasingly relying on 3D printing to streamline and expand their possibilities of mass customization, build-to-order product strategies, and in increasing the production flexibility and sales.

The role of 3D printing in driving competitiveness

According to a report by Forbes, over 93% of companies in 2018 are using 3D printing and are gaining competitive advantages such as reduced time-to-market and flexible shorter production runs for potential customers. The technological advancements in 3D metal materials have further led this business sphere to depict a profound growth. Estimates claim that over 36% of the companies are using metal material for 3D printing in 2018, a considerably upswing from 28% in 2017. The data signifies the greater adoption of 3D printers for production operations, which in turn is propelling automotive 3D printing market growth.

While there is no doubt that additive manufacturing has taken the automotive industry by storm, it would to interesting to take note of some industry magnates who are leveraging the technical trajectory of AM in driving their revenue growth. Enumerated below are few recent instances that shed light on the increasing adoption of 3D printing in automotive industry.

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Volkswagen is using 3D printing for mass production

Automotive industry behemoth Volkswagen has recently announced that it will be using the latest 3D printing technology for manufacturing different auto parts. The company will be using the technology with the HP Metal Jet process that is expected to simplify and speed up the metallic 3D printing. According to reports, a Volkswagen vehicle is manufactured from around 6000 to 8000 different parts and 3D printing has helped immensely in mass production of these parts.

Volkswagen with HP and GKN, is further planning to take the technology to next level that could be able to produce individualized design parts including gear knobs, tailgate lettering, and special keys with personalized lettering without a great deal of effort. Significantly reducing the time required for manufacturing parts and assisting in production of mass quantities, the automotive 3D printing market demand is expected to thrive several notches up in the ensuing years.

Nanosteel unveils Formetrix, aids commercialization of metal 3D printing

An advanced materials company, Nanosteel has recently unveiled that it has launched an enterprise focusing chiefly on materials for additive manufacturing. The new corporation, dubbed as the Formetrix, is expected to further the commercialization of 3D printing metals and as well offer on-demand production services. It has been reported that Nanosteel will be supporting two areas – steel powders and sheet steel for automotive lightweighting for 3D printing. This has grabbed the attention of several automotive 3D printing industry players for investment & development of their metal auto parts. Besides the automotive 3D printing industry, the company will be playing a key role in additive manufacturing components of the oil & gas, construction, and heavy machinery markets.

Audi accelerates automotive design with Stratasys 3D printing

This German auto maker has recently announced that it has adopted the Stratasys’ J750 full-color and multi-material 3D printer for accelerating the design verification process and reducing the time required for prototyping. Leveraging the additive manufacturing technology, Audi claims that it has accomplished prototyping lead time cuts by as much as 50% for some parts. According to reliable reports, prototyping & tooling application accounted for 60% of automotive 3D printing industry share in 2017, and Audi’s adoption of Stratasys 3D printing bears testimony to the rapid expansion of this segment.

With increasing number of big-name manufacturers embracing 3D printing in automotive industry, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that this technology has come a long way and has the power to influence the direction in which auto design sector will head in future. Considering the sheer size of the global automotive industry, 3D printing is all set to be a game-changer in shaping automotive design and manufacturing trends. Soon to become an integral part, 3D printing in automotive market is poised to further unlock tremendous innovation potential and gather a remuneration portfolio exceeding USD 8 billion by 2024.

Author NameOjaswita Kutepatil