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Optical Coatings: Technologies and Global Markets

Optical Coatings: Technologies and Global Markets

  • January 2017
  • 149 pages
  • ID: 157456
  • Format: PDF
  • BCC Research


Table of Contents

Use this report to:
- Analyze coating type options and the optical coating markets from many perspectives and categorizes and profiles the companies involved.
- Identify market targets for investment, merger or acquisition based on companies in regional areas around the globe and the potential new high margin coatings applications.
- Assess the status of the optical coating market in order to identify suppliers and systems integrators and forecast the future markets.
- Focus particularly on the markets and opportunities for optical coatings in the consumer electronics, solar, telecommunications, transportation, defense and medical markets.

- The global market for optical coatings is expected to reach $14.2 billion by 2021 from $9.5 billion in 2016, rising at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.3% from 2016 through 2021.
- The commercial segment of the optical coatings market is the largest market. The market is expected to grow from $5.4 billion in 2016 to $9.4 billion in 2021 at a CAGR of 11.5% for the period 2016-2021.
- The consumer segment of the optical coatings market is expected to grow from $4.1 billion in 2016 to $4.8 billion in 2021 at a CAGR of 3.2% for the period 2016-2021.

This BCC Research 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 end users. 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 wavelength 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 2021. It defines product segments for optical coating type categories, analyzes coating type 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.

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.

This BCC Research report covers, with a critical eye, the global optical coatings marketplace. It focuses particularly on the markets and opportunities for optical coatings in the consumer electronics, solar, telecommunications, transportation, defense and medical markets. This study is presented in easy-to-follow sections that overview this subject; define the technology; segment the market by product type, application and region; profile companies; and identify suppliers. All dollar amounts are expressed in current 2015 U.S. dollars. Thin layers of coating are also applied on optical systems exclusively for protective purposes. However, those protective materials have not been considered in the scope of this research.

Materials are segmented by oxide, fluoride, metal and other. Applications are divided into consumer electronics, architecture, solar, telecommunications, transportation, medical, defense/security and industrial. Individual applications are then further broken down; for example, consumer electronics is then considered via AR coatings, reflective, conductive, filter and electrochromic. By region, the market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and Rest of the World. This is a complete source for serious players in the optical coatings marketplace.

Both primary and secondary research methodologies were used in preparing this report. Materials and data presented in this report were obtained from interviews with marketing and engineering personnel at the major companies profiled, as well as from catalogs, the internet, public filings and a literature search of current articles related to optical coatings technology.

Investors and project managers will use this report to assess the status of the optical coating market in order to identify suppliers and systems integrators and forecast the future markets. Market managers will be able to assess the competition and identify customers and new suppliers for coatings. Management consultants will determine whether companies divest or invest in optical coating technology based in part on the market projections, competitive strengths and development issues revealed in this report.

Equipment managers will develop or modify existing products to address the coating technology manufacturing concerns emphasized in this report. Material suppliers will identify market opportunities and new customers based on the study’s projected growth in applications. Venture capital managers will identify targets for investment, merger or acquisition based on companies identified and described in this report. Strategic planners will identify other companies with which to strategically partner so they can share in the overall optical coating technology growth as projected in this report.

Gaurav Bhushan holds an MBA in finance from ICFAI Business School, Hyderabad (India), and a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Rajasthan University (India). His primary focus is in the electronics, semiconductors, photonics, chemicals and communications markets, and he helps clients understand these markets in a concise and intellectual manner. He has researched various markets for several years, including electronics, semiconductors, chemicals, photonics and information technology. Specific market research reports have covered quantum dots, ultrafast lasers, VCSELS, UV-cured resins and metrology.

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