The miniaturization trend of pneumatic valves is not creating a new market, but offering new products to existing customers. Mini-pneumatics target specific applications like robotics and animation, as opposed to miniaturization, which can fulfill applications for most end-user groups.
"In the late 1980s, many end users over purchased in terms of bore size," says Frost & Sullivan Industry Analyst George Turnage. "However, now manufacturers are more capable of matching the power output of current pneumatic systems with end-user needs which has resulted in the necessity of a more complete pneumatic line in smaller bore sizes."
Since the mid-1990s, end users have become increasingly aware that port size does not necessarily correspond to increasing power requirements. A transition to smaller port sizes has already begun and is expected to continue as related industries follow suit.
"The development of applications such as biomedical and analytical instrumentation have added to the increased demand for smaller valves," says Turnage. "As these products enter the market and their potentials are realized, it is anticipated that related industry end users will follow this trend."
Consumer demand is expected to rise as more end users recognize that smaller units can meet efficiency needs less expensively than the full-size products they are designed to replace. The decrease in price is driving unit sales, proving miniaturization a positive movement for long-term success.