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					   T & M Instruments



Testing and
Measuring industry
 Current Trends & Future Prospects
                                                         Author - Manitam Biswas and Sambuddha Sengupta




T
       esting and measurement are two       never scientifically possible because the   modular platforms. The share of modular
       equally important terms associ-      measurements differ in even the slight-     instruments is expected to go up from
       ated with every manufacturing        est measure, depending on the nature        11.5 percent in 2011 to 22.0 percent in
industry. It is concentrated on produc-     of the object measured. However, the        2018.
tion of specific tools that can be used     T&M industry has not been discouraged
to analyse, validate and then verify the    by this factor and has been continuously
                                                                                        New instruments and technologies
measurements related to electronic and      innovating and adapting to the chang-
mechanical systems. These tools play an     ing standards. The T&M industry play-       The technologies and instruments used
important role in any industry, starting    ers are now making use of multi-core        in the industry today have also changed
from research and development (R&D)         parallel test systems in order to experi-   a lot. They have in fact evolved to meet
to production and services. Owing to        ment more. There has also been a steady     the ever increasing demands of indus-
the rapid evolvement and increasing         increase in the level of internet connec-   tries. There exists a gamut of instrument
competition, the need for having accu-      tivity integration, wireless communica-     types that are structured and designed
rate and high definition measurement        tion, HD videos and high-quality audio      to take care of any end-use requirement.
tool has gone up significantly. Moreo-      adoption. Consumer base for the T&M         The instruments developed today are
ver, the increasing R&D activities across   industry, which was once centred on the     mostly application-specific products
various spheres are further expected to     defence and aerospace industry, has now     that are engineered to meet almost
incentivise the growth of the Testing and   shifted and expanded to include electri-    every end-use requirement. While a
           Measurement (T&M) industry.      cal and electronics industry, communica-    multiple number of equipments used
                                            tions and semiconductor manufacturing.      in this industry are electronic in nature,
                  It has often been
                                                                                        the use of high-definition optical and
                        proved that            As far as the product types are con-
                                                                                        audio measurement devices have also
                           attaining        cerned, the T&M industry can be divided
                                                                                        gained popularity.
                            a perfect       into two main categories.
                            measure-                                                       Owing to the increasing complexities
                                            i The traditional box instruments
                            ment is                                                     in measurement, there has been a stra-
                                            i The modular instruments
                                                                                        tegic shift towards software packages.
                                                However, as far as segmented growth     These packages work in combination
                                            is concerned, the modular market is         with T&M devices to codify, validate and
                                            expected to grow at a steadier pace         then organise the data acquired by them.
                                            than its traditional counterpart. Modu-
                                                                                        Some of the recently introduced tools
                                            lar instrumentation makes use of shared
                                                                                        are:
                                            components, user defined software and
                                            high-speed buses in order to meet the       Wireless instruments: The adoption of
                                            needs of Automated Test equipment           inexpensive RF technologies, which are
                                            (ATE). PCI eXtensions for Instrumenta-      now integrated into everyday applica-
                                            tion (PXI) are the most widely used and     tions, has done a world of good for the
                                            popularly favoured among the different      T&M industry. Since consumers today are

                                                                                                                             »
   32 Electrical Mirror March 2013
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                                                                                                          March 2013 Electrical Mirror 33
   T & M Instruments

                                                                                                         as told to Electrical Mirror




    Babu T K, CEO
    ElMeasure India Pvt. Ltd.




more in favour of instruments with more      ing higher throughput as not a single       segment.
functionality and seamless mobility, the     program has to wait for its turn to get
                                                                                             Industry reports reveal that the US
importance of wireless instruments in        processed by the processor.
                                                                                         instrument manufacturing for measuring
the T&M industry has gone up. Introduc-
                                                T&M designers are also coming up         and testing the electrical and electric-
tion and use of brand new technologies
                                             with instruments that are capable of        ity signals has grown at a steady pace.
like LT and MIMO antennae having 2×2
                                             testing the highly capable components       The industry was able to generate over-
configuration with capability of enabling
                                             that are incorporated into devices like     all revenue of USD 10.4 billion in 2011.
data rates of 100 Mbps in downlink and
                                             cellphones, consumer electronics and        The estimated gross profit stood at
uplinking capabilities of up to 50 Mbps
                                             other wireless devices.                     30.29 percent. The overall import of the
means that these equipments can easily
                                                                                         country was valued at USD 6 billion from
handle multiple radio access technolo-
                                                                                         across 124 countries. The total domestic
gies in order to facilitate testing.         Market size and share
                                                                                         demand for the industry stood at USD 8.7
Serial Data Communication: USB com-          According to the Annual Investor Confer-    billion in 2011, showing steady signs of
pliance testing has now emerged as one       ence-NATI 2012 report, the total market     improvement.
of the most important areas for the test     size of the T&M Industry is around USD
and measurement industry. The shift          17 billion, with the Electrical and Elec-
                                                                                         Major Players
from parallel to high-speed serial data      tronics industry consuming up to 25
communication has led to this shift in       percent of the overall production (USD      The global T&M industry has been domi-
trend. There are already about six billion   4.4 billion). The structural or physical    nated by players like Advantest Corpora-
USB devices worldwide and the number         industry comes in second, constituting      tion, Agilent Technologies, Anritsu Corp.,
is ever increasing. The USB 3.0, equipped    almost 23 percent (USD 4 billion) of the    Aeroflex Inc., Antritsu Corp., Astro-Med
with latest technology and designs is set    entire consumption. The other industries    Inc., Danahar Corporation, Danaher Cor-
to meet the increasing demand.               include wireless or RF, real-time set and   poration, B&K Precision Corp., Keithley
                                             semiconductor.                              Instruments, JDS Uniphase Corp., LeCroy
Semi-conductor chips: There has been a
                                                                                         Corporation, Pico Technology, National
steady progress in designing ever-more          The US has been able to attain leader-
                                                                                         Instruments Corporation, Rohde &
equipped front-end Integrated Chips for      ship position as the largest T&M market
                                                                                         Schwarz, Stanford Research Systems,
gen-next instruments.                        globally, according to the latest report
                                                                                         Yokogawa Electric Corp. and Willtek
                                             on General Purpose Electronic Test and
   There has been a steady inclusion of                                                  Communications GmbH, among others.
                                             Measurement Instruments. Being the
multiple microprocessors into the design
                                             technology leaders in the electrical and    Agilent Technologies
of inexpensive instruments owing to
                                             electronic T&M instrument manufactur-
their decreasing prices. This has ena-                                                   Agilent Technologies is the industry
                                             ing, the US has done well to emerge as
bled each instrument function have its                                                   leader in the T&M market. It has three
                                             one of the most competitive players in
own dedicated microprocessor, allow-                                                     major areas of operation:
                                             the advanced high-end T&M market


   34 Electrical Mirror March 2013
i Electronic measurement                       ing positioning. More than 100 wireless          country are further expected to augment
i Chemical analysis                            service providers across the world have          growth of the sector, currently growing
i Life sciences                                announced the implementation of LTE,             at an annual rate of 20 percent on a year-
                                               which includes players like Bell Canada,         on-year basis. Industry insiders opine
   The company’s major area of opera-
                                               AT&T, China Telecom, China Mobile, NTT           that the T&M industry has potential of
tion, electronic measurement, contrib-
                                               Docomo, etc.                                     touching the magic figure of USD 1 bil-
utes to over 50 percent of the overall rev-
                                                                                                lion in the next three years.
enue. With introduction and increasing
demand for smartphone technologies             The Indian scenario                                 Experts add that the growth of the
and ever expanding geographical reach,                                                          general purpose test equipments is set to
                                               There has been significant growth in the
the company has registered steady rev-                                                          be directly proportional with the growth
                                               T&M industry in India over the last few
enue growth.                                                                                    of the electronic industry in the region.
                                               years, which is a reflection of the fact
                                                                                                The investment has also been high in
National Instruments Corporation               that it plays a critical role in any industry.
It is the leading global supplier of PXI
                                               The increasing R&D activities across the
                                                                                                                                     »
modular instrumentation having a
market share of 60 percent in the T&M
industry. The company has recently
acquired Phase Matrix, which has helped
the company gain insights into modu-
lar instrumentation industry. It has also
helped the company to perfect the pro-
cess of creating fast switching synthesis-
ers and a Radio Frequency (RF) system
design portfolio, which is critically impor-
tant to the company’s hardware and soft-
ware offering. The company is further
expected to expand the frequency range
of its products to 26.5 GHz on the basis of
PXI platform for RX, which will upgrade
the current product offering to higher
frequency applications.
Anritsu
With the mobile market expanding at
a steady pace, Japan-based Anritsu has
been able to register robust growth since
2010. It provides top performing test
products to the mobile communicat-
ing segments and metro networks. The
markets that Anritsu caters are Japan, the
US, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia.
   The new MT8220C radio commu-
nications analyser introduced by the
company has the ability to evaluate
and measure 2G, 3G and 3.5G mobile
terminals, besides catering to the LTE
devices. The company’s MW8219A PIM
Master is designed to measure accurately
and locate the source of passive inter-
modulation, which can be found near
base stations.
JDSU
This US-based company has recently
acquired one of Agilent’s test units,
which has helped to strengthen the
company’s communications test market-

                                                                                                      March 2013 Electrical Mirror 35
   T & M Instruments
                                                                                                                                          ----
                                                                                                           as told to Electrical Mirror

                                The world is moving towards automation & T&M industry is not isolated. We are experiencing
                                increasing use of built-in sensors in equipment’s. High precision sensor-based test and mea-
                                 surement technology contributes in uninterrupted production with high quality assurance.
                                These sensors can connect with the T&M device for data acquisition & analysis. Remote moni-               ----
                                toring of the equipment is also a demand of the industry & is expected to increase in future.
                                 There is an increasing trend to use of wireless technologies in T&M. Fluke has launched innova-
                                tive products where it is possible to detach measuring unit with the display. Recently Fluke has
                                launched a product called CNX wireless DMM which can connect wirelessly with ten eld mod-
                                ules to measure current voltage & temperature. This trend is expected to continue in future
   Mahendra Pratap Singh        also.
   BDM-Utilities & Railways
   TTL Technologies Pvt. Ltd.
   (A Fluke Company)            The integration of multiple parameters on a single platform is also a trend which is going to
                                percolate in future T&M instrumentation.




fields like design, R&D and manufactur-     Year Plan (2012-17) period, prospects of       erably high. However, the high-prices for
ing. Even though the markets behaved        growth in this sector is definitely going to   T&M equipments and solutions continue
slightly cautiously in 2012 owing to the    be on a higher side. There are also plans      to be a major challenge for the industry.
existing economic climate, it is con-       of investing INR 1.4 trillion in the sector
                                                                                              The increasing demand for data-
sidered to be just a temporary phase.       to create about 6-7 lakh job opportuni-
                                                                                           intensive services has also boosted T&M
Fundamentals for investment by private      ties during the Twelfth Five-Year Plan.
                                                                                           industry growth, thereby helping in the
players remain strong and various gov-
                                                With T&M contributing hugely to the        emergence of a new trend.
ernment policies like National Policy for
                                            proper functioning of the power sector,
Electronics and National Manufacturing                                                         Therefore, it can be said that the
                                            the future of the industry looks bright.
Policy are expected to strengthen the                                                      growth potential for the T&M industry
                                            Setting up of new power generation
electronics and other general purpose                                                      is going to be relatively high both in India
                                            plants and other supporting evacuation
test equipment market growth in the                                                        as well as globally. The industry is one
                                            infrastructure is likely to influence the
country in years to come.                                                                  of the most revolutionary and dynamic
                                            growth prospects of the T&M industry.
                                                                                           ones with the machines becoming
    Insiders also point out easy accessi-   Moreover, the Indian power transmission
                                                                                           increasingly compact and accurate. As
bility and cost efficiency as major con-    is moving to EHV and UHVAC class, which
                                                                                           countries look to invest more on devel-
tributors behind this steady growth. The    is further expected to generate demand
                                                                                           oping tools that provide them with
major players dominating the Indian         for even more sophisticated equipments.
                                                                                           compact and accurate results, a huge
market are Yokogawa India Ltd, Agilent
                                               The T&M industry has also contrib-          segmented growth is never going to be
Technologies India Pvt. Ltd, Rohde &
                                            uted hugely to the renewable energy            too much of an expectation 
Schwarz India Pvt. Ltd, Aimil Ltd, Aplab
                                            production. Solar energy production,
Ltd, Rishabh Instruments Pvt. Ltd, Sci-
                                            which is at the centre of much attention,
entech Technologies Pvt. Ltd, Tektronix
                                            has intensified the need for instruments
(India) Pvt. Ltd, Synergy Measurement                                                                        Sambuddha Sengupta
                                            like solar cell, measurement solutions,
Technologies Pvt. Ltd, Meco Instruments                                                                      Works with Netscribes,
                                            solar module and MPPT/inverter test.
Pvt. Ltd, etc.                                                                                               specialises in con-
                                               India has also been a hub for produc-                         tent development &
                                            ing equipments like oscilloscopes, which                         planning
Meeting the increasing demand of
                                            are the fundamental tools for testing and
power sector
                                            debugging in all the spheres of product
India being a country with the second       development and manufacturing.
                                                                                                              Manitam Biswas is a
largest population, the demand for
                                                Another industry that has been                                Research Analyst with
power and electricity is quite high.
                                            hugely depending on the T&M industry                              Netscribes
Moreover, as the government plans to                                                                                                      ---
                                            in India is the mobile industry. With the
add over 88,000 MW of power genera-
                                            launch of services like 3G and 4G, the
tion capacity during the Twelfth Five-
                                            demand for T&M tools is set to be consid-


   36 Electrical Mirror March 2013

				
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posted:3/19/2013
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