The global temperature sensor market is forecast to grow in double digits between 2013 and 2020 with a CAGR of 12%. Temperature sensing is one of the most sensitive properties or parameters for industries like petrochemical, automotive, aerospace and defense, consumer electronics, and so on.
These sensors are installed into devices with the purpose of measuring the temperature of a medium accurately and efficiently in a given set of requirements.
Broadly classifying, these are of two types: Contact Temperature Sensors and Non-Contact Temperature Sensors. Contact temperature sensors can be further subcategorised into four types, namely: Integrated Circuits (ICs), Thermistors, Resistance Temperature Detectors (RTDs) and Thermocouples whereas, Non-contact Sensors are classified into two types, namely: Infrared Temperature Detector and Thermopile. A recent report published by IndustryARC analyses / elaborates all these types of sensors and their respective applications in various industries like automobile, metal manufacturing, aerospace & defense, petrochemical, consumer electronics, and so on.
RTD is the fastest growing segment in the temperature sensors market. It is expected to dominate over thermocouples owing its wider temperature range, increased ruggedness, better accuracy and many such properties that accompany RTD. For instance, Omega Engineering Inc. introduced RTDM12 - a compact and rugged series of RTD Temperature Sensors. Offering fast time response, this RTD plug is a good fit for pressure vessel applications, pressurized containers and applications that requires a temperature sensor with an NPT mounting fit and is ideal for water, chemical and automotive industries.
The demand for thermistor has also increased in the automotive industry, especially, in applications such as powertrain, safety and controls and alternative fuel vehicles due to the change in government standards and demand patterns from the end users. A total of 30 thermistors are used in an automotive, which include 20 negative temperature coefficient (NTCs) and 5 positive temperature coefficient (PTCs) sensors. Thermistor is currently a steady growing market and is expected to continue the same trend in coming years as well.
Primarily, temperature sensors can be classified into three parts, such as by type, end-user and geography, but, in a recent report released by IndustryARC, the temperature sensors further classified by metals and by alloys that are used while manufacturing. Metals covered in this report include Platinum, Copper, Silicon, Tungsten and Nickel and alloys are further categorised into type-K, type-M, type-E, type-J, and so on. Platinum is the most widely used metal, especially in RTD and thermocouple. The demand for platinum in temperature sensors is projected to grow at a CAGR of 3% in the forecast period 2013-2020.
Temperature sensors play a very important role in petrochemical plants starting from the storage of different chemicals to their cracking and distillation. As many new petrochemicals plants are being set-up, subsequently the installation of temperature sensors will increase, thereby, leading to the growth of temperature sensors market. Another driving factor is the growing demand for consumer electronics that microprocessors. The day by day increasing penetration of electronic devices such as smartphones, cameras and media players and other consumer utilities make use of microprocessors is expected to boost market growth, since they have temperature sensing ICs. Along with the driving factors, there are few hindering elements as well that exist in this market.
In July 2014, Ametherm introduced four new series of NTC chip thermistors, namely: STC0134-X, STC0138-X, STC0143, and STC0144-X, which provide high accuracy temperature measurement of up to +150oC. These thermistors deliver highly consistent performance in temperature monitoring and compensation in hybrid circuits for ICs in robotic assemblies and military telecom systems. Honeywell International Inc., Analog Devices Inc., STMicroelectronics N.V., Texas Instruments and Microchip Technologies Inc. are the key players in the global temperature sensors market.
Among temperature sensors, non-contact sensors are the costliest, followed by thermocouples. As of 2013, non-contact sensor costs around $12 and each thermocouple costs around $4 per piece. The cost of thermocouple is likely to increase by 2020 due to the decline being witnessed in the market owing to the availability of substitutes. Currently, contact sensors is a major segment in the global temperature sensors market accounting for 85% , whereas non-contact sensors segment is estimated to grow from 2014-2020, based on the sales assessment of last 3 years .
The demand for temperature sensors in consumer electronics sector and China being one of the major hubs for electronics manufacturing, Asia-Pacific stood as the major region for temperature sensors market accounting for 35% of the global market. North America holds around 25% of the total market share where the thriving safety issues in the defense industry and increased demand of automotive are mainly leading this market. Middle-East and Africa, is one of the major hubs for refineries, chemical and petrochemical processing plants, as well as metals and mining having uniform demand for temperature sensors.