Growth in electronic industry drives test and measuring market

The growth of India’s test and measurement market is primarily attributed to the growth of the electronic industry in India. Factors like rise in the use of smart devices and growth of wireless technology and government initiatives are towing the industry positively.
Growth in electronic industry drives test and measuring market
The growth of India’s test and measurement market is primarily attributed to the growth of the electronic industry in India. Factors like rise in the use of smart devices and growth of wireless technology and government initiatives are towing the industry positively. The market is characterised by leading trends such as the advent of high-performance testing, high quality cost competitive products and rising demand from automotive companies. This article takes a closer look at what drives market growth and emerging opportunities in the market.
 
According to Frost and Sullivan analysis, Indian test and measuring (T&M) equipment industry is estimated to reach US $ 244.7 million by 2020. The market is growing due to the increasing demand for this equipment in end-use sectors, such as automotive & transportation, aerospace & defence, IT & telecommunications, education & government, semiconductor & electronics, industrial, and healthcare. 
The test and measurement equipment market is expected to grow at the highest CAGR in the healthcare sector during the forecast period. There is significant potential for growth of the test and measurement equipment due to the development of new healthcare equipment, patient-monitoring systems, and personal emergency reporting systems. The special trends affect the growth of test and measurement market in India is following.
 
Multi-functional and multi domain testing: Instead of having various testing kits for individual applications, engineers have realised the benefits of using one kit with multi-functional testing capabilities. Multifunctional testing kit is the latest demand among the decision makers among the quality control departments.
 
Smart testing for smart devices: For testing managers and engineers, the challenge is to ensure quality at increasingly lower costs. To test their smart devices, organisations are transitioning from the status quo of rack-and-stack box instruments and closed turnkey ATE systems to smarter test systems that deliver connectivity and problem-solving capabilities.Customised equipment: The current focus on customised test equipment is driving the overall market, as most of the low-end T&M equipment are now available with control options.Quality ensures long-term: The objective standards of quality lead to quantifiable benchmarks, as every customer segment wants its systems to function properly and reliably on a consistent basis.
 
Demand for predictive maintenance: Increasing awareness about predictive maintenance among manufacturers in India is driving the growth of the T&M industry. It improves the quality and the accuracy of the equipment.
 
Emerging trends
The need for a connected and safer world leveraging advancements in the Internet of Things (IoT), machine-to-machine (M2M) interaction, 5G and millimetre are the new technological trends that will lead to the growth of the T&M industry worldwide and in India, too. There is need for embedded/portable T&M solutions, IoT test solutions with remote troubleshooting capabilities and solutions that can support the latest interfaces and protocols.Anil Choudhry, Country 
 
Head and MD- Greater India, Schneider Electric, states, “Today predictive maintenance is well perceived by industrial segment. Industry has evolved from problem solving ro problem rooting. Predictive maintenance needs many devices which are compatible with connected platforms for applications like analysing, measuring and testing. These components have been the base for controlling and managing facilities across industries. Prior to Industry 4.0, such equipment were only used over any complaint reported.”
 
Repair/ after-sales to grow
The purpose of repairing is similar to troubleshooting, which includes detection and elimination of faults in a product in various stages of the product cycle. Companies provide several repair services or after-sales services for test and measurement equipment. Companies in this market also offer training and development programs to their customers or end users. Training helps users better understand the technical and operational aspects to be able to reduce error rates.
 
Emerging T&M automotive
The trend of automotive companies switching to automated testing is also driving up demand for T&M equipment. Moreover, increasing electronic content in vehicles for infotainment, connectivity and safety purposes, along with growing acceptance of green mobility (through e-vehicles) will also fuel the growth of the T&M sector. Besides, increase in R&D activities across the electronics industry value chain is expected to further drive up demand.
 
The strong government push to make in India in the aerospace and defence electronics sector indicates the bright future of the defence manufacturing ecosystem in India and related opportunities for the T&M segment as well.
 
Digital compatibility
Demand for industrial automation across India has been growing at a rapid rate and is expected to grow further in the years to come. With overall smart manufacturing trend across industries, the T&M products are moving from off-line applications to online applications. 
Today, the T&M devices and instruments are able to communicate with the single platform which controls operations. The communication between instruments and the platform gives opportunity to analyse the readings and performance, making the process efficient. Digital connectivity helps to operate the equipment at ease with basic training to the workforce as the device can be controlled over a smartphone. Speed of troubleshooting increases, as the platform being connected to the device, keeping consumers loyal to the product. 
 
Power sector growth
Demand for electricity across India has been growing at a rapid rate and is expected to grow further in the years to come. Consequently, power generation, transmission and distribution companies will have to invest in reliable, accurate and efficient equipment to protect their assets from failure. Therefore growth prospects of T&M equipment related to the industrial electronics sector are quite promising.
India is an emerging solar hub of the world, considering the kind of capacities that are coming up, with nearly 100GW of solar power to be added in the next five years. Solar power, again, may be a very important market for T&M products.
 
Chandmal Goliya, Director, Kusam Electrical Industries, says, “Due to the increase in Power Generation the demand for good quality Test & Measuring Instruments has grown rapidly. We anticipate an increase in demand by about 25 per cent over the last year.”
 
Indian imports
India has a huge base of overseas companies supplying ever-increasing need of the T&M equipment. Sophisticated and standardised technology-based products are imported due to their quality. Simulation and high-end testing equipment are imported or are manufactured under collaborations while compact handy and portable equipment used for measuring and testing is imported. 
 
Single volume Indian export of T&M equipment is growing but higher share accounts to that of bulk deals of testing and instrumentation packages. Pharma, chemicals and food are segments which have considerable share of local consumption. Electronics segment which extensively relies over the T&M equipment has shown consistent growth. Though it is always has competition from the imported equipment. “There is a threat from cheap quality products which are imported. Due to the competitive prices by Chinese manufacturers, the imports are increasing and unless there is a proper level playing ground it is not possible to overcome the threat. Moreover, due to the worsening trade relationship between USA & China, China is looking forward for exporting its products in India in a much larger way,” shares Goliya.
ChallengesSME industry believe that the current laws are very complex, instead a simplified documentation will help perceive understanding of laws, better. “Multiple taxes, compliances of the rules & regulations of government, also lack of skill Manpower is causing hindrance for faster growth of Industry. We suggest that government should simplify the laws so that even SME manufacturer can understand the same & implement them without the needs of lawyers and other professionals. Presently almost 30-40 per cent of the time of SME manufacturers is spent in unproductive work of complying with the laws,” informs Goliya.
 
Major research and development takes place in developed nations while India is manufacturer of these developed products. The domestic research contributes to the harmonising the developed product according to the Indian conditions. Very few players in the market allocated their budgets for research and development. Experts believe that T&M market is slow but shows steady growth and is moving up. 
Prices are very competitive as there are many in the industry, manufacturing almost similar products. Customers in the industry operate on a very low budget for such instruments, thus, GST is burden. As these manufacturers mainly comprise of SMEs, they believe that the higher GST rate levied 18 per cent on T&M industry be lowered to 12 per cent. Many have appealed for the same.
 
Indian T&M players will have to up their game by incorporating multiple functions in their devices. According to Confederation of Indian Industry’s (CII’s) observations, “T&M market has ample local demand. Given that the current market is experiencing slow movement, many have tried their luck with exports which requires to have standardised manufacturing processes, raw materials and certifications. In a space which is dominated by the small and medium enterprises (SMEs), an effort to make upgrade their manufacturing setups or collaborations will be a boon to seek orders for exports. 
 
Scope in future
With respect to user experience, touchscreen technologies will revolutionise the T&M environment. A combination of the right hardware with a design for touch user interface (UI) will enable us to use equipment easily and efficiently. Touch UIs are crucial for creating an effective and usable touchscreen environment. It is not enough to simply add a touchscreen to an existing UI. New age T&M equipment needs to be able to identify, isolate and analyse a system under test as quickly and efficiently as possible. Having an effective touchscreen on the instrument can reduce the time it takes to configure the system and to analyse signals. Thus, instruments with better GUIs provide ease of operation and automated testing capabilities, which increase productivity.
 
quote
Predictive maintenance needs many devices which are compatible with connected platforms for applications like analysing, measuring and testing. Prior to Industry 4.0, such equipment were only used over any complaint reported.Anil Chaudhry, Country President & Managing Director-Greater India, Schneider Electric.
 
Due to the increase in Power Generation the demand for good quality Test & Measuring Instruments has grown rapidly. We anticipate an increase in demand by about 25 per cent over the last year.
Chandmal Goliya, Director, Kusam Electrical Industries
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