The global aerospace and defense (A&D) industry is set to grow in 2018, with total revenues in the aerospace sector estimated to grow at more than 3%. The global A&D industry revenue in the past was largely impacted by decreased revenues in the US A&D sector.
Over the last few years, there has been an incremental rise in the demand for skilled NDT technicians across the world. However, the demand currently outweighs supply, due to a plethora of reasons.
There are several opportunities for growth, such as large-scale aerospace projects in the Asia-Pacific and European regions and the increasing need for advanced and automated NDT solutions, which are expected to contribute to the growth of the market studied in the future.
Key Market Trends
Radiography Testing Technology to Account for the Largest Share
Radiography is one of the versatile testing methods in non-destructive testing, which is used for the detection of surface and subsurface features in welded parts and castings. Radiography employs highly penetrating X-rays produced by X-ray tube, gamma rays by a radioactive isotope, and other forms of radiation for testing without causing any damage to the product.
It enables product reliability, providing the information to prevent accidents and saves lives in industries. It is also used for corrosion mapping, detection of blockages inside sealed equipment, testing of semiconductor devices for cracks, broken wires, unsoldered connections, detection of reinforcing the material in concrete slabs and measuring bulk density of materials.
The use of computed radiography in the aerospace and defense industry provides significant cost savings when compared to other testing methods as it eliminates the external costs. As economic justification is a major criterion for any testing method, the radiography testing range in size from microminiature electronic parts to massive missile components used in the aerospace and defense industry.
Europe to Account for Significant Share
The European aerospace and defense industry is mainly dominated by the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Italy, while Russia is also a large player in the international market landscape.
- In 2016, the UK aerospace production output is observed to be grown by 39% since 2011, with annual turnover reaching nearly USD 43 billion.
Exports generate nearly 90% of aerospace turnover. The sector achieved exports of nearly USD 37.41 billion in 2016 and looked for success in overseas markets to drive further growth, and there are few uncertainties are expected with the exit from the European Union.
The United Kingdom is investing money in new Joint Force 2025, comprising of a Land Force of 112,000 equipped with digital armored vehicles, an Air Group upgraded with more Typhoons and fifth generation F35s; and a Maritime Task Group made up of destroyers, frigates, and two mighty carriers â€“ claimed to be the most powerful ships ever built in Britain.
France and its manufacturers are driving a significant number of hi-tech projects, including the forthcoming nEUROn European military drone, Airbusâ€™s E-Fan Ë—Ë— the first all-electric aircraft designed for initial pilot training, and the LEAP engine made from composite materials manufactured by Safran Aircraft Engines and GE, which have already received large numbers of orders.
German companies were involved in the production of all of those aircraft. Around 300 aircraft were finished in Germany â€“ this is equivalent to 17% of the total number of international aircraft production.
The activities of Russian civil aviation at the present stage are conditioned by factors such as unstable post-crisis stabilization of the country's economy, and continuing uncertainty in the development of international transport markets, both on regular and charter (primarily resort) routes.
Also, with the defense industry being highly uncertain of the coming years, the overall consumption of NDT in the country is expected to slow down over the coming years.
The competitive rivalry between various firms within the market is dependent on the competition (price, product or market share), and the intensity with which they compete in the market.
- In the NDT equipment market, incumbents such as GE, YXLON International, and Olympus hold the largest market shares. They have a strong influence on the market in terms of their R&D and consolidation activities.
- The exit barriers in this market are due to the high costs involved in operations. Firm concentration ratio has been forecasted to grow steadily over the reporting periodâ€¢However, these firms have greater access to funds and R&D operations.
- As stated earlier, there has been a growing trend of forwarding the integration of operations by market players in a bid to capture more value within the market. Some of the key players in non-destructive testing (NDT) in the aerospace and defense market are Olympus, Nikon, and GE.
- Some of the key developments in non-destructive testing (NDT) in the aerospace and defense market are as follows:
- Mistras Group acquired Semiray Inspection Services, which is an NDT service provider based out of Phoenix, Arizona. Semiray operates in the aerospace, military, electronics, and commercial manufacturing industries. The company is NADCAP-accredited and holds approvals from various aerospace manufacturers, like Boeing, General Electric, Honeywell, Lockheed Martin, etc. The acquisition strengthens MISTRASâ€™ presence in the southwestern United States.
- The company boosted the production capacity for interchangeable lenses in response to a growing demand for mirrorless digital cameras equipment, especially in the Non-Destructive Testing Market. The company is expected to approve additional production facilities that will be set up at the Taiwan.
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