the global thermal imaging market is forecast to reach USD 6,098.8 million by 2019. The market growth is driven by emergence of new applications and increased investment on modernization of armed forces across emerging markets.
Global thermal imaging market was valued at USD 3,192.5 million in 2012 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 9.76% from 2013 to 2019. Rising penetration of thermal imaging devices in industrial and commercial sector is driving the growth of this market. Industrial sector is using thermal imaging devices for manufacturing process monitoring and to find hot spot in mechanical and electrical installation. Commercial sector is deploying thermal imaging devices for building diagnosis and security of airports and estates etc. In addition, reduction in the price of thermal imaging devices has increased penetration in the residential sector. However, decreasing military spending by major countries such as U.S., Canada, Italy and France are hindering the growth of thermal imaging market.
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Among the various end-user segments, defense and military is the largest sector and accounted for 45.04% of market revenue share in 2012. The defense and military sector is expected to dominate the market over forecast period due to the increasing investment by various countries such as China, U.K, Russia and India for upgrade and modernization of armed forces. Thermal imaging devices are widely used in applications such as surveillance and security, maintenance and monitoring, traffic monitoring, healthcare, automobile, research and development, and others (firefighting and personal vision). Surveillance & security and maintenance & monitoring applications are emerging as promising applications for thermal imaging devices. These two segments together accounted for 44.7% of market revenue share in 2012. Demand for surveillance and security is supported by the need to enhance border and commercial security. Commercial security includes security of airports, ports, estates and warehouse.
Geographically, North America is expected to remain largest market for thermal imaging due to the growth in industrial and commercial sector in the country. North America is anticipated to dominate this market throughout the forecast period due to the increasing use of thermal imaging devices for law enforcement activities. Europe would be the next largest market followed by Asia-Pacific. Countries in Europe and Asia-Pacific are increasing their defense spending, which is expected to drive thermal imaging market in these regions.
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Global thermal imaging market was dominated by few existing players in 2012. Renowned players such as FLIR Systems Inc., DRS Technologies Inc., Raytheon Company and BAE Systems Inc. led the global market, and collectively accounted for around 75% of the market in 2012. These players have well-developed resources and network to meet industry demand and to retain pace with the changing technology. In order to increase their market share, key players are reducing their product prices, which is further increasing the competition among the manufacturers.