Rules and regulations in the packaging industry are subject to changes. Increasingly stringent standards to ensure quality of products and their safety are being implemented. Manufacturers of both end products as well as packaging formats must meet various standards in order to sustain in the market. Conventionally, there are several different types of inline quality control methods that are being currently used. These include check weighers, sensors as well as machine vision systems. Of these, packaging line quality control sensors have been witnessing steady growth since the past few years as these have become more sophisticated and can now detect various parameters in a product. Inline quality control sensors are used for various purposes, such as keeping packaged products in sync, detecting mission packages and removing waste products from the conveyor belt.
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Inline quality control sensors market: Segmentation
The global inline quality control sensors market has been segmented as –
Based on product type, the global Inline quality control sensors market has been segmented as follows –
- Point profile sensors
- Line profile sensors
- Snapshot sensors
- Point profile sensors usually use a single laser point to scan at very high speeds. The results obtained from the scan can be used to perform functions, such as inspect displacement in a fast-moving process and build a contour or profile along the direction of the movement of the belt.
- Line profile sensors are used to measure the contour or the profile of the surface. They do that by means of a line of laser light. Line profile sensors can generate 3D point cloud for 3D feature inspection. One of the advantages of having line profile sensors is the range of object sizes they are compatible with. Line profile quality control sensors can measure the shape of very small (10 mm) to large width objects (1.5 m), moving at high speed.
- Snapshot sensors are ideal for inline inspection applications in which the object is momentarily stationary. Therefore, they are mostly used for pick and place and similar robotic applications.
Based on end use, the global Inline quality control sensors market has been segmented as follows –
- Food & Beverages
*The pricing of inline quality control sensors is based on their type and configuration i.e. point profile, line profile and snapshot variants.
Based on geography, the global Inline quality control sensors market has been divided into seven key regions –
- North America
- Latin America
- Asia Pacific excluding Japan (APEJ)
- Western Europe
- Eastern Europe
- Middle East & Africa (MEA)
Inline quality control sensors market: Research Methodology
Both supply and demand side analysis were performed to arrive at the market size for inline qulaity control sensors.
The key manufacturers of various inline quality control sensors were identified and their revenues were recorded from various databases and their annual reports. Segmental revenue was then calculated to determine the percentage of revenue share that is generated from the sales of inline quality control sensors. Various focused group discussions were conducted, supported by interviews with marketing heads of inline quality control sensor manufacturers, independent consultants and distributors among others, to validate the data.
The overall market size for sensors used in automation was determined and the penetration of inline variants for the packaging industry was estimated. Bottom-up analysis was then used to validate the numbers. To estimate the numbers, the demand for inline quality control sensors was mapped for all the key manufacturers and their production facilities.
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Inline quality control sensors market: Key Players
Some of the key players operating in the global Inline quality control sensors market are –
Tier 1 companies (Those with revenue generated from selling inline quality control sensors > US$ 8 Mn)
- LMI Technologies Inc.
- Sick AG
- Banner Engineering Corp.
- Nix Sensor Ltd.
- Arck Sensor
Tier 2 companies (Those with revenue generated from selling inline quality control sensors lying in the range of US$ 5 Mn – US$ 8 Mn)
- Shinkoh-electronics Co., Ltd.
- Micro-Epsilon Messtechnik GmbH & Co. KG
- ROPTEC GmbH
- Stemmer Imaging Ltd.
- Baumer Group
Tier 3 companies (Those with revenue generated from selling inline quality control sensors < US$ 5 Mn)
- Contrinex AG
- Abiz Technology Co., Ltd.
- Leuze Electronic GmbH + Co. KG
- FocalSpec Oy
- Keyence Corporation
- Rockwell Automation, Inc.
Key developments & Trends
Inline quality control sensors are mostly used in industries, such as the pharmaceutical industry and the food & beverages industry, where extensive rules and regulations govern the quality of the manufacturing and packaging process. Tasks, such as detecting contamination in packed foods, quality control in packaging processes and ensuring reliable air-tight packaging are critical and therefore, the need of the hour. The global inline quality control sensors market is characterized by constant research and development and frequent upgrades in the sensor technology, which significantly enhances their ability to detect several parameters inline. Some of the key trends in the inline quality control sensors market are –
- Rapid adoption of inline quality control sensors by food & beverage companies to reduce operator interventions and product returns. For instance, a cleaning product manufacturer based in North America recently installed a iVu Plus TG sensor. This sensor helps them identify mislabeled bottles and products which are not aligned correctly for packaging. The sensor was preferred due to its easy setup and highly efficient automated comparison of the products with an approved image.
- Manufacturers are focusing on smart cameras and machine vision systems, which can cater to both portable and inline instrumentation needs of packaging facilities.
- Beverage giants, such as The Coca Cola Company, use high speed cameras which work 24×7, at speeds up to 800 clicks per minute, which is in sync with their bottling capacity.
The road ahead
Rapid innovation in the food & beverage packaging technologies and stringent regulations for packaging standards are the two key factors expected to fuel the growth of the global inline quality sensors market. As global food & beverage as well as pharmaceutical giants consider moving their production hubs from the costlier Europe and North American countries to the Asia Pacific region, a significant demand for inline quality control sensors is expected to be generated from China, India and ASEAN countries during the forecast period.