Companies in this industry segment manufacture navigational, measuring, electromedical, and control instruments, including aeronautical instruments, appliance regulators and controls, analytical lab instruments, navigation and guidance systems, and various types of testing equipment. Major companies include Agilent Technologies, Danaher, Honeywell, L-3 Communications, Medtronic, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, and Thermo Fisher Scientific (all based in the US), as well as ABB (Switzerland) and Siemens (Germany).
Demand is driven by technological advancements, as well as growth in primary end markets such as aerospace and medical services. The profitability of individual companies depends on continuous, rapid product development. Large companies enjoy economies of scale in manufacturing, broad product lines, and established distribution relationships. Small companies can compete effectively by developing advanced or specialized technology, or by subcontracting for larger firms. The US industry is concentrated: the 50 largest companies generate more than 60% of industry revenue.
Products, Operations & Technology
Search, detection, navigation, and guidance instruments account for the largest portion of industry revenue (about 32%), followed by electromedical equipment (20%) and lab instruments (13%). Other products include electrical testing equipment; industrial process controls; fluid meters; watches, clocks, and related parts, x-ray machines and other irradiation apparatus, and automatic environmental controls.