Ever since the announcement of bringing 5G to India, 2018 has been the point where almost all the major part of industry have been bullish towards attaining that breakthrough or is preparing for the big change, to say the least.
But unlike other industry domains, Test and Measurement (T&M) is one sector which has a huge potential to grow. The studies revealed the overall test and measurement equipment market is expected to grow from USD 25.7 billion in 2018 to USD 32.3 billion by 2024, at a CAGR of 3.90% during the forecast period, therefore, making it more viable that the industry is headed to become a big business.
An opportunity to sit with the major T&M players in India, Chandmal Goliya, Managing Director, KUSAM-MECO; Madhukar Tripathi, Head, Optical Business & Marketing, Anritsu Corporation; and Shelley Gretlein, National Instruments,Vice President, Global Marketing, has given me a foresight of the T&M sector in the next few years alongside, some of the major transformations that the sector is likely to undergo.
Ms. Gretlein: 2018 was a critical year for NI. While the engineering megatrends were, and still are, making a profound transformation across industries, these trends combined with our customers’ needs allowed us to evolve our system-level offering for automated test and automated measurement applications.
Tripathi: Anritsu India is focusing Indian operation for better customer services and we have invested in bigger office area, calibration, repair, R&D area in 2018.
Goliya: The year 2018 has been a very good year for our company’s growth. We have had a growth of almost 30% over past present year business. Due to the demand from various Industries, Power Sector, Communication Sector, Renewable Energy Sector & the Educational Sector, we have had a good business growth. We feel that almost all the companies in this field who supply high-quality products must have also experienced the same. Due to the diversified requirements of the various sectors, we have also expanded our product range as well as capacities.
2) T&M in the Future
Ms. Gretlein: As the world eagerly awaits the benefits promised from 5G technology, the complexity of 5G wireless devices will increase as we progress from prototyping to commercial deployment. Engineers are rethinking the highly optimized techniques that have been used to test previous communication standards. New testing methods such as over-the-air (OTA) testing will be crucial to enable the viable commercialization of 5G products and solutions – from consumer to the automotive industry.
Advancements in the automotive industry, from electrification to ADAS and autonomous driving will have a major societal impact if they deliver the safety benefits predicted. There are many technical challenges and tradeoffs with the shift from single-sensor to multi-sensor ADAS—redundancy vs. complement (cost), distributed vs. centralized (technology), in-house vs. off-the-shelf (strategy). To overcome these challenges and manage the tradeoffs, a software-defined test platform is more critical than ever.
In addition, the IoT will continue to be a major topic of discussion in 2019. The IoT spectrum is made up of “smart” applications, such as smart mobility, smart cities, smart grid, smart manufacturing (also known as Industry 4.0) with a focus on architectures and technologies designed to connect and automate industry as we know it. Wherever an organization may be across that spectrum, there is almost always a need to test your application. Given that a lot of new technologies are coming into play to make these solutions happen, test is playing a bigger role than ever before.
These are very exciting times for engineers and business leaders focused on automated test and automated measurement systems. Rapid technological change requires advanced, forward-looking solutions for automated test and automated measurement. NI is excited to partner with our customers to accelerate their innovation and drive increased business value.
Tripathi: Fifth Generation Network known as 5G is the latest and most popular emerging technology in the telecom sector. Connected Car will be other technology trends in 2019. Cyber Security, Cloud, IoT, M2M, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Blockchain, Industry 4.0 etc will be other popular technological trends in 2019
Goliya: In future KUSAM plans to introduce Digital Multimeters which would have a touch screen for selecting the range to be connected to the Multimeter instead of a traditionally rotary switch. Also the trend will be to add more & more functions compacted in one instrument so that the users do not have to carry many instruments to complete a job. It can be accomplished by simply one instrument only.
3) Automotive Sector- The next accomplishment of T&M Industry?
Tripathi: Automotive Industry is growing industry worldwide. Technology has changed the automotive arena and now autonomous car is a reality. Connected Car is more popular terms nowadays. Smart Cities will have an autonomous car which will be a great combination of technology for smarter lifestyle. Connected car will be having intelligent system for self-navigational support. Connected cars will be less polluting earth and lead to a cleaner environment. It will also help for a safer society.
Test and Measurement industry is playing important role in connected car ecosystem. Single dashboard (display cum control panel) will have infotainment system along with navigational support and monitoring all parameters for car maintenance and safe driving.
Goliya: Aligning with the market requirement, KUSAM is adding many products which can be used along with the automation systems. Used not in only the Automobile Industry but also in other Industry as well. We have introduced products which have PC connectivity or Analog outputs which can be connected to PLC’s & Scada Systems.
Further due to non-availability of dedicated skilled labour, most Industries are moving towards automation because of various benefits to them. Hence there will be big demand for instruments like the ones which have been introduced by us recently.
Ms. Gretliein: Technologies and processes are crossing industry boundaries and there will be increased leveraging of test approaches across industries, creating either pain or potential for test leaders in semiconductor, transportation and aerospace industries. We are seeing industries moving closer together as their functional needs are aligning; allowing vendors that offer flexible platforms like NI to serve these industries to increase value in our offerings.
The key driver of growth for the T&M industry next year will be semiconductors and automotive. According to a global survey by accounting firm KPMG in 2017, “diversifying into a new business area” was cited by semiconductor executives as their number one priority for the next three years. As chipmakers continue to expand into new areas in 2019, they’ll need testing and expertise in these new technology domains, meaning they’ll need to make major investments in automated test and automated measurement solutions. The automotive industry – also driving need in semiconductor – continues to experience disruption in test from the electrification and autonomous demands.
4) Reckoning 5G for T&M
Goliya: As India is preparing for the 5G technology there are many companies abroad who have started work on providing instruments for such application. A few Japanese companies have already introduced such products in those countries, where 5G technology is already launched or will be launched shortly. Hence, in India, the instrument which will be sold would have been tried & tested elsewhere already.
Ms. Gretlein: Wireless technology in India today has entered a phase of growth comparable to the Telecom Revolution of the 1990s – with 5G as the predominant driver of this growth. Educational institutions such as IIT-Delhi have been equal partners with industry players in accelerating 5G research and innovation in the country and in the building of a new ecosystem that can function on upgraded technology. The T&M industry stands to benefit from these innovations in many ways.
Firstly, upgraded networks will result in a nationwide increase in connectivity, not just with wireless devices but also IoT and IIoT devices. The demand for 5G-compatible devices will catalyze the production cycle for cutting-edge hardware and software compliant with the new standards.
We’ll also see the continued expansion of verticals that can benefit from 5G, for instance, more innovations in the VR and AR space due to lower latency. This advantage will be especially evident on manufacturing shop floors where test engineers who have historically struggled to collate and analyze large data dumps will be able to measure performance much more quickly and effectively. Another area where testing will be affected by 5G implementation will be in the automotive sector where wireless technology has finally allowed for autonomous vehicles to become a viable reality.
Lastly, the diversification of 5G’s impact areas will raise a concurrent need for standardized testing measures and equipment. With increasing wireless device complexity, new testing methods like over-the-air (OTA) testing must be championed. This would require the move towards integrated antenna arrays that utilize contemporary technologies like Multiuser MIMO (MU-MIMO) to deal with an expanded wireless spectrum that encompasses centimeter and millimeter wave (mmWave) frequencies.
5G will disrupt multiple industries simultaneously and automated test and automated measurement systems in particular will play a critical role in ushering in this revolution in 2019.
Tripathi: 5G will create a positive impact to Test and Measurement industry. Anritsu developed lab and field testing instrument for 5G technology research development and deployment. We see demand of R&D test and measurement instrument initially and followed by field testing instruments. During 2019 5G test instruments demand will increase since global 5G deployment will increase in 2019.
5) Pacing with the current trends
Ms. Gretlein: Across all key industries experiencing change and needing innovation, our customers need an increased focus on software. For NI, this is not new. The software has been at the heart of our offerings throughout the 40-year history of the company. We have consistently evolved our software offerings to meet customer demand, starting with low-level hardware interface software, changing the industry with engineer-optimized, graphical programming, adding higher level tools for test development and sequencing, and now providing ready-to-use solutions for target applications including datalogging and systems management. Our software experience and expertise are unmatched in the industry. A key to our approach is that we enable our customers and third-party companies to access and customize the software, rather than a closed approach like other vendors. This customizability is key to enabling our customers to adapt to the trends of the rapidly changing technology of today. NI will continue to provide higher-level solutions to our customers while maintaining our long-standing open, customizable platform.
Tripathi: Anritsu has been a leading partner of all telecom players enabling them to design, manufacture new technologies including 4G, LTE Advance and 5G. Anritsu invest in R&D for such emerging technologies and provide a cost effective solution. Anritsu also offer unique value proposition for infotainment system of automotive industry. Anritsu Signaling Testing MF8475A/B has been used for emergency call (e-call) testing.
Goliya: KUSAM-MECO is conscious of the demand of Modern technology & we strive to introduce new products to meet the new demands.