Charles T. Troy
NORWALK, Conn. -- Steady growth through the turn of the century is the forecast for the worldwide optical coating market, says a report from Business Communications Co. Inc. (BCC). The growth is expected to be buoyed by expanded use in medical and industrial applications. However, the market research firm warns, suppliers must aggressively target their industrial customers to offset the slow growth projected in the defense industry.
According to the report, The Future for Optical Coatings, total sales for the US coating markets, including materials, products, services and equipment, will expand at an average annual growth rate (AAGR) of 9 percent, from the current $634.7 million to $920 million by the year 2001.
Worldwide sales are expected to grow from the current $1.58 billion to $2.29 billion by 2001. This growth will come primarily from major improvements in the optical materials sector, despite downsizing by one of the market's major consumers: the defense industry.
Cuts are not critical
The analysis concludes that although military research has been cut back, the industry won't see an immediate impact on the market. The military's conventional areas of reduced use are expected to be somewhat neutralized by increased photonics research, which in turn will form an important link to many high-tech weapons systems. The result is slow growth, rather than a steady decline.
The US accounts for 40 percent of world sales, followed by Europe and the Pacific Rim. The Pacific Rim countries are expected to experience the highest AAGR in sales, at 11 percent. As a result, they are expected to surpass Europe as the second- largest market for optical coatings.
The full report is available for $2950 from BCC at (203) 853-4266.