A comparator basically indicates the size difference between the work being measured and the standard, with sufficient magnification. A profile projector or optical comparator is a device that applies the laws of optics to measure the dimensions of small manufactured parts on a translucent screen. An optical comparator is an inspection machine that measures the dimensions of small manufactured parts at a fast rate and with high precision by projecting the enlarged or magnified image of parts on a screen with the help of an illuminated source, mirrors and lenses.
Inhorizontal line path instruments, light travels horizontally across the stage. It is majorly used in milled or turned components, plastic injection molded parts, screw machine parts, grooves, threads, extrusion, transmission shafts, castings, machined components, etc. for measurement inspection. On the other hand, light travels vertically in vertical line path instruments. Vertical line path instruments are majorly used in parts that are flat, such as gaskets, stamped parts, O-rings and electronics. Some optical comparators are equipped with LED lights for bright and crisp object illumination. These comparators offer cool operation, low power consumption and extended light life.
Attributing to the application of optical comparators in automotive, aerospace, defense and other industrial sectors, such as plastic, metal and manufacturing, it is expected that the optical comparator market will witness a decent growth during the forecasted period. This growth can further be attributed to the reliability, flexibility and ease of use offered by optical comparators. Many optical comparators are accurate, fast, powerful and fully automatic and they have small footprints and cutting edge technology to control manufacturing quality. They are capable of collecting digital data in the form of images and working directly with software, such as CAD.
Presence of competitive products, such as video measurement systems, which give colored and fully corrected images and the ability to capture images of small work pieces, is projected to hamper growth of the optical comparator market during the forecast period. Since its invention in the 1920’s, there have been few modifications or innovations in terms of the design, principle and operation of the product and due to this, it is estimated that the optical comparator market might witness a downfall during the forecast period.
The optical comparator market can be segmented on the basis of part view orientation as follows: Vertical, Horizontal, Shadow screen type; The optical comparator market can be segmented on the basis of system type as follows: Bench top, Floor standing; The optical comparator market can be segmented on the basis of end use as follows: Automotive, Aerospace, Defense & Space, Industrial
Asia Pacific is expected to witness significant growth in the optical comparator market, due to industrial growth in the region, especially in India & China. North America is pegged to be the next in line in terms of growth, owing to the growing aerospace industry in the region. Europe & Japan optical comparator markets are expected to witness considerable growth, due to the growing automotive sector in these region; as these comparators find application in measuring the dimensions of different automotive parts. The Middle East is expected to show slow growth in the optical comparator market, due to the relatively limited presence of aerospace, automotive and other industries, which are end users of optical comparators.
Examples of some of the market participants in the optical comparator market are: Keyence Corporation, Nikon, Quality Vision International Inc, Mitutoyo Corporation, Starrett, J&L Metrology, Inc. – Springfield, VT USA, Vision Gauge, Harmond Company, Radical Instruments, S-T Industries Inc., Quality Control Solutions, Inc, Suburban Tool Inc, ZEISS International
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