Strain Gauge Load Cell Market by global COVID-19 impact analysis, industry trends, business strategies, opportunities and forecast to 2027

Popularity of Strain Gauge Load Cells in Automobile Applications to Uplift Market Growth

These are exciting times to be in the strain gauge load cell market, as the ongoing shift from analog to digital technology holds abundant market opportunities for stakeholders, especially in Europe. The application of strain gauge load cells will be integral to the booming automobile and industrial sectors in the region. As the automobile industry seeks automated processes to achieve better market times, new dimensions to the existing scope of strain gauge load cells will bring in unconceivable opportunities for manufacturers.

Technology, design, and compatibility remain the key competing parameters for manufacturers, meaning, only innovation is constant in this evolving landscape. Extended frontiers of applications for strain gauge load cells will draw new revenue tangents, given the zoomed-in focus of manufacturers towards the convergence of engineering and manufacturing capabilities. This will aid them in catering to the complex design and performance requests of numerous end-use industries.

All-in-all, the strain gauge load cell market will grow steadily to record sales of ~ 6.2 million units in 2019, up to ~ 9.8 million units in 2027. However, this excitement in the strain gauge load cell market is likely to pale, as manufacturers aren’t able to move past the high supply-to-demand ratio of analog strain gauge load cells.

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Drumbeat of Digitalization Harbingering a Shift in the Landscape

Analog strain gauge load cells continue to dominate the market, given their cost-effectiveness. Beside the battle of pricing being fought between digital and analog cells, the robust design of analog cells further bolds the line separating them from digital cells. Given the high proclivity of end-use industries for affordability and better designs, analog strain load cells account for a market share of ~ 85 percent. However, accuracy being the key feature of contemporary manufacturing processes, a shift towards digital technology will remain a key highlight of the strain gauge load cell landscape to accentuate automation.

Real-time processing of information is better achieved with digital strain gauge load cells, given their high data sample rates as compared to analog load cells. The use of binary data further ensures the security of digital cells from interference from electromagnetism, radio signals, and temperature. Less susceptibility to signal corruption and faster transmission of data encourages manufacturers to favor the adoption of digital load cells over analog load cells. Currently, digital strain gauge load cells are estimated to record volume sales of ~ 730 thousand units, with a compound annual growth rate of ~ 6 percent during the forecast period.

Force-sensitive Resistor Technology – New Innovation in the Market

The contemporary electronics industry has arrived at a juncture, wherein, grain-sized innovation, in the form of sensors, capacitors, and resistors, adds massive value to conventional devices. Similarly, force-sensing resistor (FRS) technology is the innovation in strain gauge load cells that offers excellent property to alter the resistance based on the force applied to the surface.

Strain gauge load cells developed using FRS technology are gaining traction, as the thin size of electronic components that is less than 0.5 mm remains desirable for the development of testing devices and equipment for the aerospace, defense, and automobile sectors. Besides being compact in nature, these cells come at an affordable price and offer good shock resistance, which have been popularizing the integration of FRS technology for the development of strain gauge load cells.

With connected things and devices, already being the envisioned future of healthcare and defense industries, strain gauge load cells embedded with FSR technology unlock new avenues to wirelessly communicate with other devices and facilitate various functionalities with minimal human intervention.

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Europe’s Lead in the Automotive Sector to Reflect its Hold on the Global Strain Gauge Load Cell Market

The performance of the automobile industry in Europe has reflected on its strong hold on the global strain gauge load cell market. With electric vehicles making high inroads in the region, and autonomous vehicles being the very future of automobile and transportation industries, the concentration of leading automakers and their zest to leap quality norms are leading to the high adoption of strain gauge load cells for testing and qualifying vehicles. Since the automotive industry harnesses the prowess of numerous force transducers and torque meters to ensure the smooth functioning of vehicles, strain gauge load cells are heavily employed for varied applications, including, but not confined to, fatigue tests, crash tests, and shock absorber tests.

Currently, Europe accounts for ~ 30 percent of the global strain gauge load cell market, and is projected to move to a higher value at a compound annual growth rate of ~ 4% during the forecast period. However, the growth of the strain gauge load cell market in parallel to the growth of the automotive industry will also reflect in Asia Pacific. Given the high manufacturing and automotive ability of China and Japan, the strain gauge load cell market is likely to witness exponential improvements in its sales in the Asia Pacific region.

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Strain Gauge Load Cell: Definition/Overview

  • A load cell is defined as a transducer that converts an input mechanical force into an output electric signal. A load cell is a type of force sensor that, when connected to appropriate electronics, returns a signal proportional to the mechanical force applied to the system. Load cells are primarily based on strain gauges.
  • Load cells convert force or weight acting on them into an electric signal. The electric signal can be a frequency change or voltage change, depending upon the type and circuit used in the load cell.
  • Strain gauge load cells are used in medical devices such as hemodialysis machines, infusion pumps, and surgical instruments. In the aerospace & defense sector, load cells are used for the testing of airframes, engines, pilot force input, landing gear, wheels, doors and breaking systems, flight decks, cargo systems, and throttle controls. Load cells are also used in the in-flight refueling aircraft. Load cells are employed in oil rigs, engine systems of military ground vehicles, bulk material handling equipment, weight checking machines, and elevators.

Global Strain Gauge Load Cell Market: Regional Overview

  • The strain gauge load cell markets in different regions across the world are undergoing diverse phases. North America and Europe are mature regions of the global strain gauge load cell market, due to the presence of major end-use industries in these regions.
  • On the other hand, developing countries in Asia Pacific and the Middle East & Africa, which are undergoing modernization and adopting industrial automation, are witnessing increase in the demand for strain gauge load cells.
  • This, in turn, is driving the global strain gauge load cell market.

Global Strain Gauge Load Cell Market: Trends

  • Embedded force-sensitive resistor (FSR) technology is becoming popular, owing to its various advantages. Embedded FSRs are ultra-thin and flexible-force sensors consisting of semi-conductive material placed between two pieces of thin polyester.
  • FSRs are cost-efficient alternatives for other types of force sensors, owing to their ability to function on a simple circuitry. FSRs can be produced in single-point or matrix forms, with the ability to capture force or pressure measured in the predefined area as per the required design.

Global Strain Gauge Load Cell Market: Key Segments

The global strain gauge load cell market has been segmented based on technology, type, end-use industry, and region.

  • Technology:
    • In terms of technology, the global strain gauge load cell market has been segregated into digital and analog.
    • Analog was the dominant segment of the global strain gauge load cell market in 2018.
    • The demand of digital load cells is expected to surge during the forecast period, owing to their high data processing rate and high precise and accuracy. However, analog load cells are cost effective. Their robust design and superior functionalities prompt end users to opt for analog load cells.
  • Type:
    • Based on type, the global strain gauge load cell market has been segmented into single-point load cells, bending-beam load cells, shear-beam load cells, S-type load cells, compression load cells, and others.
    • Bending-beam strain gauge load cells are expensive, but they are compact, versatile devices that can easily fit into tight spots. These cells are commonly used in commercial measurement applications and industrial weighing applications. Thus, the bending-beam load cells segment is expected to dominate the global strain gauge load cell market during the forecast period.
  • End-use industry:
    • In terms of end-user industry, the global strain gauge load cell market has been classified into medical, industrial, agriculture, automotive & transportation, aerospace & defense, and others.
    • The industrial segment is expected to dominate the global strain gauge load cell market during the forecast period, owing to the high demand for strain gauge load cells required for use in load-bearing industrial applications, including industrial scales, platform scales, and universal testing machines.
    • Automotive & transportation is the most rapidly expanding end-use industry segment of the global market for strain gauge load cells, followed by the medical segment.

Global Strain Gauge Load Cell Market: Competition Dynamics

  • Attracted by the growth of the market and the underlying latent demand for strain gauge load cells, several players operating in the global strain gauge load cell market are expanding their business through new product development, strategic mergers and acquisitions, and partnerships.
  • Some of the prominent players operating in the global strain gauge load cell market are
    • Flintec Group AB, Dytran Instruments, Inc.
    • OMEGA Engineering, Inc.
    • Futek Advanced Sensor Technologies
    • Kistler Group
    • Anyload Weigh & Measure Inc.
    • Vishay Precision Group
    • Hottinger Baldwin Messtechnik GmbH
    • Tecnicas De Electronica Y Automatismos Sa (UTILCELL)
    • Thames Side Sensors Ltd.
    • Siemens AG
    • NMB Technologies Corporation.

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