The Infrastructure Monitoring Market is expected to register a CAGR of 15.6% during the forecast period. The market is expected to be affected by the recent outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. The slowing down of the economy is expected to reduce expenditure on infrastructure and thereby reducing growth figures for the market in a post-corona economy. However, the companies are expected to invest in their IT systems to develop remote monitoring capabilities in order to avoid a similar situation in the future. This is expected to act as a big stimulus for the market in the medium to long run.
- This growth can be attributed to the growing use of advanced sensor technologies, declining cost of sensors, and increasing capital investments for structural health monitoring in order to ensure better maintenance of critical infrastructure across the end-user industries.
- The growing demand for predictive maintenance in order to reduce life cycle maintenance costs is one of the major drivers of this industry. MEMS inertial sensors are extensively used predictive condition monitoring of buildings, production systems, and even vehicles. This has been further augmented by the emergence of IoT and advanced analytics that are continually improving the functionality of such systems.
- IBM Corporation, in February 2019, announced a new portfolio of Internet of Things (IoT) solutions that team AI and advanced analytics to help asset-intensive organizations, like the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA), to improve maintenance strategies.
- Moreover, the ability to remotely monitor critical infrastructure using smart sensors has led to the proliferation of the market. This is extremely helpful in the end-user segments, like mining, where structural monitoring using smart sensors enables companies to save money and lives. Inertial sensors from First Sensor that have the capability to achieve resolutions of 10 µg or 0.0005° (2 arc seconds) are extensively used for remote monitoring of buildings, bridges, and wind turbines.
Key Market Trends
Energy Sector is Expected to Account for a Large Share of the Market
- The remote maintenance benefits that Structural Health Monitoring Systems offer is extremely beneficial for both onshore and offshore systems in this sector. In a wind turbine, for instance, central data modules are being increasingly used to transmit data pertaining to structural conditions. The introduction of cloud solutions has enabled this structural health monitoring data to be continually collected and evaluated for predictive maintenance. Most wind farm operators leverage SCADA data for remote monitoring and management.
- Moreover, Structural Health Monitoring solutions led to huge cost savings through early detection, thereby facilitating higher investment in future predictive maintenance solutions. Duke Energy deployed Schneider Electric’s Avantis PRiSM technology to save USD 7.5m through early crack detection in a turbine rotor. This has ensured the prevention of cost over-runs through asset optimization and maintenance.
- The non-invasive structural monitoring remains extremely critical to the nuclear energy sector, which, by design, supports such technologies. The sensors in nuclear reactors are installed during concrete casting or by inserting them into holes that are drilled into the existing structures.
- In the next four years, more than 67 nuclear reactors in the world are estimated to reach an age of over 40 years of the operational period. As nuclear power plants age, the importance of maintenance increases, and this is expected to create market opportunities for the market studied.
Asia-Pacific is Expected to be the Fastest-growing Market
- The rapid expansion of the end-user industries that have major avenues for the application of structural health monitoring systems is leading to the expansion of the market in the region. For instance, according to World Nuclear Association, Asia-Pacific region is witnessing significant growth in terms of electricity generating capacity and specifically nuclear power. The region is home to about 135 operable nuclear power reactors, and about 35 are under construction, with fastest growth in nuclear generation, expected in China. Thus, the need for maintenance of those power plants will also increase, which in return will create a market for structural monitoring.
- The application of infrastructure monitoring equipment within Aerospace and Defense is further driving the market. For instance, according to the according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), China and India have enhanced their nuclear arsenal over the last year. The Swedish think-tank pointed out that China is significantly modernizing its nuclear arsenal. According to the SIPRI Yearbook 2020, China, Pakistan, and India have 320 160 and 150 nuclear warheads. Such existence mandates the need to monitor them so that they don’t fall into the wrong hands.
- Further, China has approximately 500 smart city pilot projects, the highest in the world, covering big and small cities. The Chinese Government had invested about USD 74 Billion of public and private investment in these cities by 2020. According to China Academy of Information and Communication Technology, the annual investment into Smart City projects is expected to rise to CNY 1.23 Trillion (approximately USD 181.7 Billion) in 2021 from CNY 375.2 Billion (approximately USD 55 Billion) in 2017.
- Additionally, growing smart city projects are expected to provide opportunities for the growth of the market in the country. For instance, Smart City Mission, a scheme in India is worth USD 35.7 Billion and consists of 2301 projects across various states. In the Indian Union Budget for the FY 2020-2021, five new smart cities have been announced under the smart cities’ mission. The development of smart infrastructure is expected to open up new avenues for structural monitoring systems.
The Competitive Landscape of the structural health monitoring systems remains fragmented, with several small and medium-sized players operating in the market. The evolving needs of the end-user segments are driving the introduction of new sensors and platforms that support structural health monitoring. Some of the recent developments in the market are as follows:-
- June 2020 - National Instruments unveiled an updated brand identity including a new logo, visual identity, enhanced digital experiences and a brand campaign. Now known simply as NI, it is modernizing the test and measurement industry by coupling its rich software heritage with new cloud and machine learning capabilities.
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