Optical Coatings: Technologies and Global Markets
This report provides:
- An overview of the global market for optical coatings, which may be devices but more typically are a value-added feature of optical elements such as lenses, mirrors or flat-screen displays.
- Analyses of global market trends, with data from 2014, estimates for 2015, and projections of CAGRs through 2020.
- A look at the role optical coatings are playing in the consumer electronics, solar, telecommunications, transportation, defense, and medical industries
- Reasons why optical technology in many application markets represents the next level of technological advancement.
- Insight into markets with the highest margins and fastest growth for coatings, which include new applications, where coatings offer a new advantage, and areas where the coating designer and processor can provide improved performance.
- Comprehensive profiles of leading companies in the field.
This report will be updated in September 2016.
This study analyzes the status of global markets for optical coatings. Optical coatings may be devices but more typically are a value-added feature of optical elements such as lenses, mirrors or flat-screen displays. Many elements are fabricated and coated in volume and, thus, have low prices and margins.
Innovation and development of new coating applications are critical for revenue growth in the coatings industry. Markets with the highest margins and fastest growth for coatings are new applications, where coatings offer a new advantage, and areas where the coating designer and processor can provide improved performance. Mass production of devices drives down prices and trims margins.
Custom coating design opportunities support a fragmented industry. Consolidation remains an industry trend as better capitalized firms acquire smaller ones. Some manufacturers acquire coating technology to vertically integrate their product processing. Others contract with third parties to produce components. A further trend is high volume, low margin coating moving to Taiwan and China. The military market remains important due to the advent of remote warfare means such as unmanned vehicles and robots. Machine vision optics for the semiconductor industry remains a high margin market with healthy growth.
Miniaturization in medical procedures offers opportunities for innovative coatings. Transportation applications are increasing as a greater number of vehicle models include cameras, displays and other optical systems. Growth in the telecom sector tracks the extension of fiber toward the end user. Coatings for solar panels represent a growing market.
This report considers market conditions and opportunities in regional areas around the globe. The report also considers the potential new high margin coatings applications that will emerge in the next five years.
Optical coatings are used in any application in which the wavelength of light must be precisely controlled. Coatings determine which wavelengths of light are transmitted or reflected, which determines the resolution and quality of any display or projected image.
This report provides a standard five-year planning cycle and revenue estimates through 2020. It defines product segments for optical coating technology categories, analyzes technology options and determines current application markets as well as likely future opportunities. Additionally, this report defines and graphically analyzes these optical coating markets from many perspectives and categorizes and profiles the companies involved.REASONS FOR DOING THE STUDY
Optics are essential in many commercial and consumer products, and optical coatings are a critical value-added technology in optics. Any component that influences the path of the light signal will be coated to improve performance. Optical communications are orders of magnitude faster than electronics; as the amount of video and interaction increases on the Internet, the need for maximum speed, possible only with optical technology, will increase.
Flat screens for television, cell phones, computers and other displays will continue to grow in size and application. Touchscreen technology will also become more ubiquitous. Optical components and coatings are critical in flat panels and screens. Transparent conductors make the screens possible; antireflection coatings improve brightness and picture quality.
Advances in antireflection coatings promise to increase the efficiency of solar panels by double digits. Lighting technology is in the midst of a major shift to environmentally friendlier technologies such as light emitting diodes (LEDs). Optical coatings can improve light production and wavelength profile.
In the medical and defense markets, the desire to be able to monitor and act remotely requires optics and optical coatings. In the medical market, optical fiber and associated technology permit physicians to operate less invasively. In the defense market, the rapidly expanding use of unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, has increased the need for optics capable of acquiring high-magnification and high-resolution images to provide accurate actionable information for pilots located at a remote position. In addition, robots and remote sensors detect and report in dangerous environments, allowing personnel to remain at a safe distance.
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