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Why Test and Measurement Equipment is More Important Than Ever

Aug. 27, 2020
With an expected market growth from $25.7 billion in 2018 to $32.3 billion by 2024, at a CAGR of 3.90%, the test and measurement equipment industry has established paramount importance and demand.

With an expected market growth from $25.7 billion in 2018 to $32.3 billion by 2024, at a CAGR of 3.90%, the test and measurement equipment industry has established paramount importance and demand. Test and measurement instruments comprise everything from automatic test equipment (ATE), radio frequency (RF) test and data acquisition (DAQ) to oscilloscopes, signal generators and spectrum analyzers.

The need for testing and measurement is in almost every industry—ranging from automotive, IT and telecommunications, and aerospace and defense to electronics, industrial and healthcare.

Significance of Test and Measurement Across Industries

  • Test and measurement equipment find renewed significance in the medical industry under diagnostic tests. In the wake of COVID-19, when lives are under a great threat, test and measurement instruments come into the picture by making complex and efficient diagnostic testing possible to help treatment, as well as the development of cures and preventive vaccines.
  • In the aviation industry, test and measurement devices are widely used in aircraft maintenance and flight inspection through non-destructive testing. This is extremely important to ensure the safety of flights as well as the extended life of the aircraft.
  • Test equipment in the automotive sector helps improve the operability and functionality of vehicles and vehicle parts. Furthermore, it is important for safety compliance testing, as well as for the testing and analysis of the performance of new products in the market.
  • In educational and research institutions, test and measurement instruments have a high demand in laboratory testing.
  • In the electronic industry, test equipment is essential for performance analysis and validation of electric and electronic devices such as semiconductors and batteries. Safety testing in the electronics industry is crucial to avoid health hazards and damage.

Importance of Test and Measurement Equipment

Test and measurement equipment validate the performance of all electrical or electronic devices. Testing helps identify the components that undergo timely degradation due to the device’s exposure to external disturbances such as heat, shocks, vibrations and fluctuating environmental conditions. This analysis further helps predict equipment failure and perform calibration before any considerable damage. In other words, test and measurement equipment helps increase the shelf life, performance, accuracy and efficiency of devices. 

Measurement of electrical parameters such as current, voltage, capacitance, resistance, inductance and impedance are critical to detect faults and defects in the device under test. Test equipment measures these parameters, identifying possible errors and risks in the system that can be corrected for effectiveness and reliability.

Top Test and Measurement Equipment Growth Drivers (Industries and Players)

The test and measurement industry is certain to grow across many sectors. The following are the major industries and fields that drive the growth of test and measurement equipment:

●  Automotive

  • While autonomous driving, connected cars and driverless vehicles are under the experimental stage, the need for test and measurement equipment is ever-increasing in the automotive sector to predict and optimize the performance of these vehicles.
  • RF testing is needed to test the addition of wireless communications standards like Long-Term Evolution (LTE) and Wi-Fi to traditional automotive applications.
  • Other applications that demand test equipment include infotainment systems, automotive radar, target simulation, collision avoidance and the new Wi-Fi standard 802.11p.

Data Centers and New Standards

  • High-speed test and measurement instruments have an increased demand in data centers with the need for greater bandwidths, sample rates and new standards.
  • Applications such as differential quadrature phase shift keying (DQPSK) and 16 quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM) are growing, creating greater demand for test equipment.

5G and Pre-5G Technologies

  • The research on 5G and pre-5G (such as LTE Advanced Pro or 4.5G) technologies drives greater bandwidth requirements, which in turn generates more demand for test and measurement devices.

Power Management Applications

  • Power management applications such as power sequencing and power supplies require test and measurement equipment in order to maximize system efficiency and resolution.

802.11ax Wi-Fi Standard

  • The new 802.11ax Wi-Fi Standard drives the growth of test and measurement equipment due to new and complex RF testing needs for higher performance and accuracy. 

Aerospace and Defense

  • With the increase in complexity and variation of aerospace and defense systems, there is an increased growth in the demand for flexible, scalable and accurate test equipment to solve challenges in testing, capture and analysis, validation and verification.


  • Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) and mobile IoT standards such as Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and LTE-M are creating a high demand for parallel testing and low-cost USB instrumentation, as well as vector network analyzers and DAQ systems.

●  Medical

  • Medical devices and healthcare instruments generate demand for efficient and accurate RF testing.

Digital Transformation

  • Digital transformation of devices has driven the demand for digital multimeters, electrical testers and environmental testers.

The Future of Test and Measurement Equipment

The emergence of IoT, modular instrumentation and other complex technologies is expected to drive the growth of the T&M industry in the future due to the need for cost-effectiveness of the devices, reduced development times and greater performance efficiency.

Research and development of software upgrades and high-end communication technologies require better flexibility, higher measurement speeds, precise functionality, and effective real-time testing. These requirements can be met with the development of better testing and measurement equipment.

The T&M market is expected to experience growth as industries such as IoT, big data analytics and 5G technologies grow. High-speed digital standards, power applications, new software models, the evolution of software-as-a-service (SaaS) and cloud licensing are expected to revolutionize the trends in testing and measurement. The future of the test and measurement industry features a plethora of growth opportunities that market participants must keep their eye on.

About the Author

Amanda Wilson

Amanda Wilson is an established freelance writer who has built her career focusing on the electrical and electronic test equipment and measurement industry.

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