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Jesse Yoder, Flow Research: 781-245-3200 (jesse@flowresearch.com)
Nick Limb, Ducker Worldwide: 248-644-0086 (nickl@ducker.com)

New Worldwide Infrared Study Predicts Strong Growth for Infrared Products

Wakefield, Massachusetts, January 4, 2001 Revenues from infrared products will grow at an average annual rate of 10.5 percent worldwide over the next five years, according to a new market research study from Flow Research and Ducker Worldwide (Bloomfield Hills, MI). The study, which was released in December 2000, is entitled The Market for Infrared Thermometers and Thermal Imagers Worldwide. It is the result of ten months of cooperative work by Flow Research and Ducker Worldwide.

Infrared thermometers, linescanners, thermal imagers, and thermal imagers for firefighting applications are included in the study. Total market size for infrared products worldwide is $504 million. Thermal imagers, a type of camera that takes pictures of heat, represent the largest portion of this total. Thermal imagers are either portable or fixed. Portable thermal imagers are widely used for preventive maintenance, process control, and for safety and security applications. By detecting hot spots that are otherwise invisible in machinery and electrical equipment, they can find sources of potential failure before failures actually occur. Fixed thermal imagers are used in manufacturing and in process control applications. They are widely used in the steel and glass industries, where product temperatures are very high and it is necessary to determine the temperature of material in motion.

Infrared thermometers are the second largest component of the worldwide infrared market. These thermometers detect the infrared energy emitted by objects and materials, and use this value to measure temperature. What is unique about infrared thermometers is their ability to determine the temperature of an object without making physical contact with it. They are widely used to measure objects at very high temperature, and objects in motion.

Infrared thermometers come in both portable and fixed models. Examples of applications for portable models include measuring the temperature of automobile engines, tires, concrete, steam traps, furnaces, and plastic materials. Fixed infrared thermometers are used to measure the temperature of materials in a fixed location, such as a process control loop. Fixed thermometers, which are also called online thermometers, are available in a variety of body formats, operating wavelengths, and output signals. Materials that are extremely hot, moving, or inaccessible are ideal candidates for fixed infrared thermometers.

Infrared thermometers for firefighting applications, also called firefighting cameras, are the fastest growing segment of the infrared market. Firefighters use these infrared cameras to detect the presence of people and animals during a fire. Because these cameras can see through smoke, they are also very helpful in navigating through a fire. Firefighting cameras have been instrumental in saving many lives, and many communities are engaged in fundraising efforts to raise they money to buy these cameras for their fire departments. The fastest growth for these cameras is occurring in North America, where revenues are projected to grow at an average annual rate of 23 percent through 2005.

As part of the study, Flow Research and Ducker Worldwide conducted 100 telephone interviews with users of infrared products. The end-user survey was used to confirm supplier data and to provide additional data for forecasting purposes. End-user survey results appear as a separate chapter in the worldwide infrared study.

Flow Research is a market research company devoted to researching temperature and flow products and markets. In addition to market research, Flow Research conducts technical research on flowmeters at its onsite flowlab. Ducker Worldwide has 36 years experience researching industrial and business markets, and has offices throughout the world. Flow Research and Ducker Worldwide have formed a business alliance to produce a series of market research studies focusing on temperature and flow.