The global structural health monitoring market size was valued at USD 2,210 million in 2021. It is projected to reach USD 7,595 million by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 14.7% during the forecast period (2022–2030).
Throughout the service life of a structure or piece of equipment, structural health monitoring (SHM) collects and analyzes data obtained from a wide range of connected sensors. It is a non-destructive, continuous data collecting method for recognizing and quantifying the state of deterioration of an object to forecast the need for repair and maintenance. The real-time data collection and analysis can help make appropriate decisions to avoid accidents and unprecedented failures in the structure. SHM can be applied in civil, aerospace, defense, energy, and others.
The aging infrastructure in developed countries, including Japan, the US, the UK, and others, is expected to surge the demand for structural health monitoring solutions. Moreover, the effectiveness of SHM over the conventional inspection and testing methods is also likely to propel the growth of the structural health monitoring market.
Drivers: Efficiency of Structural Health Monitoring Over Traditional Methods
Evaluation of structural integrity and performance of in-service structures on a real-time basis has gained significant traction over time. Structural health monitoring (SHM) replaces the scheduled and periodic maintenance inspections with condition-based maintenance, which reduces the dependence on labor-based care. In addition, the condition of a structure was previously inspected by visual aids and non-destructive testing (NDT). These methods have limitations, such as the limited scope of optical reach, non-uniform testing, failure to recognize potential threats, and others.
SHM utilizes sensors to collect and analyze data at different periods during the structure’s service life. This assists in receiving and identifying the amount of damage or deterioration caused to the system. In addition, this also helps in determining the repair and maintenance requirements of the building to avoid permanent structural damage and thereby avoid accidents. Thus, the effectiveness of SHM over traditional methods such as NDT and visual inspection drives the growth of the structural health monitoring market.
Drivers: Development in Sensor Technology
Structural health monitoring has been implemented and developed to continuously monitor the condition of a structure through real-time data collection using sensors. Various wireless and wired sensors are utilized for SHM applications, which undergo continuous advancements and upgrades. Multiple types of sensors used for SHM include load cells, linear variable differential transformers (LVDT), fiber optic sensors, vibrating wire transducers, strain gauges, temperature sensors, tilt meters, and others. Major companies engaged in sensor development for SHM focus on implementing new technologies to collect more accurate data for better structure analysis.
For instance, the company Toshiba Corporation headquartered in Japan utilizes the vibrations induced by traveling vehicles on the bridge in the form of elastic waves to monitor the location of cracks. This method has been called as Acoustic Emission (A.E.) method, which measures the waves emitted to inspect the interior of solid objects using A.E. sensors. This method also proved helpful by measuring the impact of raindrops hitting the road surface, which generated elastic waves. Such developments in sensor technologies drive the growth of the structural health monitoring market.
Restraint: High Implementation Costs
Structural health monitoring installation and implementation costs are comparatively higher than other civil infrastructure condition monitoring methods. Most of these costs are related to engineering and the lack of resource availability associated with incorporating an SHM system into a structure. For instance, according to a report published on the cost-benefit analysis of structural health monitoring in 2019, the hardware costs, including sensors such as 2D accelerometers and 2D inclinometers, cost approximately USD 700 per unit, which may be required in large volumes for a single SHM project. Thus, the high cost of SHM has restricted the mainstream adoption of this technology, which in turn restrains the growth of the structural health monitoring market.
Opportunities: Growth in Infrastructure Investment
The growth in urbanization and surge in investment in infrastructure is a significant opportunity for the increase in the adoption of structural health monitoring. According to a World Bank report released in 2019, private participation in infrastructure (PPI) investment totaled USD 96.7 billion over 409 projects. In addition, the five-year average investment was USD 103.5 billion. Around 19% of project sponsorship in developing nations originated through China-based entities. This depicts a high growth in infrastructural development activities, which is anticipated to offer growth opportunities for the market.
The global structural health monitoring market share is segmented by component, connectivity, end-user, and region.
Insights into Component
By component, the global structural health monitoring market is segmented into Hardware, Software, and Services.
The Hardware component holds the largest market share and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 14.2% during the forecast period. This is attributed to the high cost of sensors, data acquisition, and storage devices. The development of hardware technologies is a significant driver of the segment’s growth. Sensor technologies are widely utilized in the SHM systems, which have been developed to continuously monitor and collect data regarding the structure’s condition. The sensors offer features such as immunity toward temperature variation and range of up to 10,000 microstrains, as well as support applications in marine environments, wind farms, and aerospace. Such developments in hardware technologies drive the growth of the structural health monitoring market.
The Services component is the fastest-growing segment. The structural health monitoring market includes system installation, real-time critical information monitoring, noise, and vibration monitoring, load testing, damage identification & assessment, and training services. Outsourcing structural health monitoring services enables companies to get significant cost savings and helps them avoid shutdowns. Such factors contribute to market growth.
Insights into End-User
By end-user, the global structural health monitoring market is categorized into Civil, Aerospace, Defense, Mining, Energy, and Others.
The Civil segment is the highest contributor to the market and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 14.3% during the forecast period. The increasing demand for SHM in civil engineering has also driven the growing necessity to ensure the safety of the structures and human lives associated with them. In addition, the higher costs of construction operations make it necessary to ensure site safety. Moreover, sensors can be integrated with nearly all construction activities to manage and access real-time data. Such products boost the demand for SHM systems in the civil end-user industry.
Energy is the fastest-growing segment. The rise in awareness regarding benefits associated with renewable technology is expected to increase the demand for turbine shafts, rotors, and others. European and other countries are focusing on alternative power generation methods to overcome the demand for natural gas. For instance, the installation of wind farms in China, the US, and India in the last decade has increased the demand for components of windmills that require continuous health monitoring. Such instances of the growing focus on developing infrastructure for wind and other energy sources are expected to boost the expansion of the structural health monitoring market during the forecast period.
Structural health monitoring in the Aerospace industry involves non-destructive inspection of critical components to detect degradation and damage before the occurrence of fatalities. Moreover, players such as Testia (a part of Airbus based in the Netherlands) and CURTISS-WRIGHT, headquartered in the US, have a strong foothold in the structural health monitoring for the aerospace industry in partnership with the European company Stratosphere SA. In addition, the structural health monitoring systems can provide the data required for the equipment to sustain harsh and extreme machinery operating conditions. Thus, the rise in focus on the aerospace industry is expected to boost the demand for structural health monitoring systems, which drives the growth of the structural health monitoring market.
Insights into Connectivity
By connectivity, the global structural health monitoring market is segmented into Wired and Wireless.
The Wired segment is the highest shareholder of the market and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 14.2% during the forecast period. Wired structural health monitoring is highly time and cost-consuming. In addition, wiring arrangement is complicated in structures such as bridges, dams, tall structures, marine structures, and others. The connectivity between wires needs to be maintained irrespective of the surrounding environment. However, the high adoption rate of wired SHM systems in long-term analysis applications wherein the data is collected over a long period and where the return of investment is considerably higher for wired structural health monitoring systems. This drives the growth of the structural health monitoring market.
The Wireless segment is the fastest-growing. Wireless structural health monitoring systems are gaining high traction in the structural health monitoring industry. The intelligent wireless networks’ easy deployment feature helps overcome the limitations of their wired counterparts. The frequent developments in wireless sensor technologies are promoting reducing the overall costs of the sensors, which are significant contributors to a structural health monitoring system.
Based on region, the global structural health monitoring market share has been analyzed across North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA.
Dominance of Asia-Pacific on the Rest of the World
Asia-Pacific is the dominant and fastest-growing region. It is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 15.2% during the forecast period. It includes China, Japan, India, and the Rest of Asia-Pacific. The rapid growth in urbanization and increasing investments from foreign investors in infrastructure and transportation are expected to boost the demand for structural health monitoring. Asia-Pacific has the most significant construction market globally. The growth of the construction industry is mainly delivered by the rapid rise in per capita income, urbanization, and the high adoption of technologies. The developing nations, including Myanmar, Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam, and others, are highly committed to improving local infrastructure. Thus, the rise in infrastructural developments, especially in the developing economies, is anticipated to drive the growth of the structural health monitoring market in Asia-Pacific.
North America is the second largest region. It is estimated to reach USD 1,470 million, growing at a CAGR of 14.1% during the forecast period. The structural health monitoring market is more prevalent in North American countries such as the US and Canada, mainly owing to the high adoption of the latest technologies in infrastructure, aerospace, and others. In addition, the surge in spending on energy-based infrastructure in the US is expected to propel the demand for structural health monitoring systems. Moreover, electricity generation using renewable sources surged from 18% in 2019 to 20% in 2020 and is expected to rise to 22% in 2021. This is mainly due to the increase in investments toward the development of energy-based infrastructure, which is expected to boost the demand for SHM systems. This drives the growth of the structural health monitoring systems market.
Europe is expected to garner a fair adoption of the structural health monitoring market owing to the increased focus on the structural safety of aging infrastructure in the European region. Moreover, the SHM systems facilitate reducing inspection costs in various end-user industries. The European government’s strong commitment to developing and adopting cutting-edge technology is a primary driving force behind the increased use of structural health monitoring systems. Such initiatives by the European government drive the growth of the SHM market in the region.
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