Portable analytical instruments are gaining momentum as the need for quick and on-the-spot or real-time analysis is increasing. Being portable, the instrument can be taken to the sample rather than taking the sample to the lab for analysis.
Portable instruments are gaining importance with superior imaging quality and support online analysis of samples where it is difficult to carry benchtop instruments. Their key application areas include drug identification, food inspection, environmental application, and defence sector.
The key drivers bolstering market growth include:
- Portability and increasing features and functionality
- Fast and on-the-spot analysis
- More regulations and implementation
- Increase in awareness
The key restraints hindering market growth are:
- Requirement of sophisticated analysis in the lab
- Lack of in-depth analysis in the field of environmental monitoring
- Lack of regulations
North America contributed the largest in the global portable analytical instrumentation market in 2015 with a market share of over 30%. More growth is expected from countries such as India and China, where there is more focus on regulations from governments.
Raman spectrometers are the fastest growing portable analytical instruments and are expected to continue to grow in a similar fashion. NIR spectrometers are one of the versatile non-destructive analysis tools, especially in the pharmaceuticals industry as these provide instant results without the requirement of sample preparation. Lately, micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) technology has been incorporated into NIR products thus forming a scanning grating spectrometer (SGS) that is highly suitable for food and environmental testing. These applications require highly sensitive data analysis and the combined product supports several standards and regulations, thus enhancing productivity in production process as well. Mass spectrometers are well known and most popular portable analytical instruments. Today, hyphenated instruments with a combination of MS and other analytical instruments are paving the way for futuristic analysis. The most commonly used instruments include GC-MS, ICP-MS, and LC-MS.
Portable instruments are gaining importance and becoming complementary to benchtop instruments. Usually it takes several days to perform sample analysis in the labs and in certain cases weeks that involve transportation of the samples from the source to the lab. That is where portable instruments with the analytical power of laboratory instruments become useful with quick and cost effective analysis. This will enable higher assurance in proper analysis. Today, more portable instruments find application use in R&D labs for quick results. This trend is expected to grow during the forecast period of 2016 to 2022.
Ruggedness, sensitivity, speed, and reliability are some of the important criteria for these instruments. Vendors who are able to deliver optimum results with these qualities in the products will be able to lead the market.