Harsh environment fibre optic sales to reach $7.3 billion in 2027

Created March 12, 2018
Sales of HEFO components are forecast to grow at an average annual growth rate of 11.8% (2017-2022) and 8.6% during the second-half of the forecast period (2022-2027), reaching $7.26 billion in 2027.News and Business

Global sales of fibre optic components used in harsh environments are forecast to reach $7.26 billion in 2027, according to market analysis by ElectroniCast Consultants. An extensive market study has reviewed the global use of the fibre optic components, and supporting devices and parts, for use in harsh environments, beyond the environment of commercial telecom and datacom installations.

Global value of Harsh Environment Fiber Optic (HEFO) components reached an estimated $2.74 billion in 2017. The newly-published market study for the first-time includes the consumption totals of fibre point sensors used in harsh environments.

Substantial growth
Sales of HEFO components are forecast to grow at an average annual growth rate of 11.8% (2017-2022) and 8.6% during the second-half of the forecast period (2022-2027), reaching $7.26 billion in 2027.

The military-aerospace sector will maintain its leadership position, in terms of value, throughout the forecast period; however in terms of volume, the commercial-Industrial market will maintain the dominant leadership position; HEFO components are priced relatively much lower in commercial-Industrial applications.

Until 2000, HEFO component sales were led by system contractors’ so-called captive production. These components typically were custom-designed for the specific application, starting from purchased commercial units, which were then modified to meet the needs of a missiles, spacecraft, aircraft or other such systems.

Some of these system contractors now are transitioning into supplying these components to other contractors, and some commercial-component vendors are developing harsh environment versions of their commercial components.

Connector and cable vendors
A major share of HEFO assemblies (both plastic and glass optical fiber based) are provided by connector vendors and by specialised cable assembly operations. An estimated 48% of the total worldwide value of $2.74 billion is attributed to the available merchant market relative to industry standard product serving the harsh environment demand in 2017.

The environments encountered by the components in harsh environments often require custom designed packaging, with much smaller quantities required, compared to packaging of components for conventional/commercial applications.

In military and aerospace applications, the package must be verified, by extensive tests, to withstand the specified environmental extremes. These design, tooling and test/qualification costs often must be amortized over hundreds of packages, in contrast to the hundreds of thousands involved in commercial applications.

Therefore, global consumption of packages for production of harsh environment components and devices is set to expand at a modest rate, says Electronicast, as design and qualification costs increasingly have been amortized over earlier production.

Matthew Peach

This article was written
by Matthew Peach

Matthew Peach is a freelance technology journalist specialising in photonics and communications. He has previously worked for several business-to-business publishers, editing a range of high-tech magazines and websites.