Pyrometers – Rising Popularity of Contactless Measurement in the Industrial Setting

Pyrometer is a contactless device that is used for measuring the object’s temperature. The ability of the pyrometer to detect the high temperature at a relatively quick speed is significantly driving the demand for the pyrometer market. Simultaneously, its potential to deliver high output in comparison to other available contact-based measuring devices at a moderate cost is further projected to fuel the demand, with the global pyrometer market size expected to increase from US$547.843 million in 2019 to US$742.707 million in 2025 at a CAGR of 5.20%. Moreover, the growing focus by the manufacturers to boost operational efficiency and productivity is leading to rising investment in factory automation solutions, which is further providing revenue generation opportunity for the pyrometer solution providers.  

Popularity of Pyrometers in the Metal Industry

Pyrometers – specifically based on infrared technology, are extremely popular in the metal industry primarily on account of its ability to measure the temperature of a product from a distance. It is considered ideal for measuring hot and moving targets or measuring in an environment where traditional temperature measurement system may not be ideal. Furthermore, three types of pyrometers are used widely in the steel industry – single-wavelength, multi-wavelength, and ratio. Single wavelength pyrometers are preferred when the emissivity is known while the ratio pyrometers are used when the emissivity is not known. Similarly, the multi-wavelength pyrometers are preferred when the utility of the other two types of pyrometers are not feasible.

Global Crude Steel Production, In Million Tonnes

pyrometer market

Source: WorldSteel Association

Moreover, the growth of the pyrometer market is directly correlated with the global steel output. The global crude steel production increased from 189 million tonnes in 1950 to 850 million tonnes in 2000 (source: WorldSteel Association). As per the latest available data from the association, the crude steel production is estimated to be at 1,869.9 million tonnes in 2019.

Global Crude Steel Production Growth Rates

pyrometer market

Source: WorldSteel Association

Furthermore, the development in steel production has been fairly stable, growing at a CAGR of 4.24% between 2000-2019. This has resulted in a continuous increase in the demand for pyrometers, with many companies investing significantly in product developments, enabling them to improve their market position. For instance, in January 2020, Optris GmbH launched a ratio pyrometer that provides contactless temperature measurement of metallic surfaces under extremely adverse conditions. Similarly, Advanced Energy Systems, Inc. recently launched it's Onyx™ – M Pyrometer series that provides measurement applications in the glass, plastics, and metal industries among others. 

However, the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in lockdown measures being imposed by the government which led to a temporary shutdown in the manufacturing facilities and disruption in the supply chain. As such, the WordSteel Organization forecasts the global steel demand to contract by 6.4% in 2020, and a relatively slower recovery of 3.8% projected in 2021, with China expected to be the prime driver. Thus, the pyrometer market is likely to be impacted as a result of the lockdown measures, with the demand from the metal industry projected to decline in 2020. 

Growing automation in glass manufacturing.

The automation industry has been witnessing a significant increase in the investment over the years, however, the manufacturers in the glass industry have only recently started investing in automating the glass manufacturing process. This is primarily done to improve the development cycle while also boosting operational efficiency. Furthermore, there is a growing number of manufacturers that have intended to further incorporate smart factory solutions to further aid its overall productivity. As a result, investments in the development of smart pyrometer have also scaled up recently as the industry demands for intelligent solutions continue to increase. For instance, Micro-Epsilon offers intelligent thermoMETER TIM 8 pyrometer that provides automatic hotspot detection which enables effective and reliable temperature control for industrial applications. The design of the product is suitable for applications that require installation even in restrictive spaces. Similarly, in May 2018, Fluke Process Instruments launched “Thermalert 4.0” which is an infrared spot pyrometer for non-contact automatic measurement in a difficult and harsh industrial environment. Thermalert 4.0 is an intelligent integrated sensor that is considered ideal for factory automation applications. Furthermore, Keller HCW GmbH offers a smart pyrometer “CellaTemp® PX” that can provide precise optical temperature measurement from O degree Celcius to 3,000 degrees Celcius. 

The global glass production is estimated to be 36.55 million tonnes in 2018, representing a CAGR of just 1.05% over the 2010 figure of 33.63 million tonnes (source: GlassAlliance Europe). The steady increase in glass production along with rising incorporation of factory automation solution within glass manufacturing is projected to boost the pyrometer market growth, specifically, from 2021 onwards. 

The Asia Pacific Is to Provide Good Growth Opportunities

The metallurgy industry is primarily developed in the Asia Pacific region, with China alone accounting for 55.58% of the global alumina production in 2018 (source: British Geological Survey). Furthermore, India and China cumulatively constituted 33.12% of the iron ore production globally in 2018 (source: British Geological Survey) while a similar trend has been observed in other key minerals as well. Simultaneously, the growing focus by the manufacturers to improve operational efficiency and rising intent to automate key factory operations are anticipated to push the pyrometer market growth in the region, with major growth opportunities coming from India, China, Philippines, and Vietnam among others. Moreover, the growing focus by the government of the emerging economies such as India and China to promote domestic manufacturing and become self-reliant is further projected to drive the Asia Pacific market. The expected early recovery of China from the COVID-19 is likely to arrest the downward trend in the demand for steel in the latter half of 2020, with the overall positive growth projected in 2021. Simultaneously, the Japanese pyrometer market is relatively mature and is expected to grow at a slow pace while Australia and South Korea offer stable revenue generation opportunities for the pyrometer manufacturers, primarily from 2021 onwards.