Sensors already have a wide range of applications in the food and beverage industry. They are promoting more efficient and environmentally sustainable production and manufacturing.
The uptake of sensors is set to receive further impetus from the increasing automation of food and beverage plants and processes. Legislation encouraging greater investments in automation and control solutions will reinforce these trends.
Analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Sensors Market in the Global Food and Beverage Industry, finds that the market earned approximately $2,891.5 million in 2012 and estimates this to reach $4,157.8 million in 2018. The research covers flow, level, pressure, temperature, photoelectric, inductive, capacitive, ultrasonic sensors and biosensors.
“The presence of standards and regulatory compliance requirements is one of the major drivers for the implementation of sensor systems,” noted Frost & Sullivan’s Measurement & Instrumentation Senior Industry Analyst V Sankaranarayanan. “Governments across the globe have strict laws that mandate the use of sensors and other electronic devices that sense the risk involved in food contamination.”
Food and beverage manufacturers are increasingly relying on automated controls to achieve higher quality and consistency. This, in turn, has fuelled the demand for sensors. The need for instruments and controls that accurately measure, regulate, or record pressure, temperature, or other conditions has led to the wider use of sensors.
“The conversion of less sophisticated controls to state-of-the-art automation systems is an important growth catalyst, as better automation improves performance, reduces cost, increases production and energy efficiency, and boost productivity,” remarked Sankaranarayanan. “Sensors are EtherNet/IP-enabled, intelligent and communicate through standard networks, enhancing overall performance.”
In the competitive food and beverage industry, sensor companies have to offer a wide range of products to satisfy consumer demands. Achieving optimum levels of quality, consistently and cost-effectively, is important to consumers.
“Producing robust sensors for accurate measurement in harsh conditions, offering complete solutions for the industry, crafting customer service strategies, meeting internationally accepted standards and guidelines, and working towards product differentiation are the factors that contribute to successful business outcomes for sensor participants in the food and beverage industry,” advised Sankaranarayanan.
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