According to a recent report from Venture Development Corp. (VDC), the proximity and linear displacement sensors market is brightening in North America. Positive growth rates should continue through 2007, says VDC, based on improving health of the U.S. economy and increasing implementation of these sensors for monitoring and control in a wide variety of products and equipment. From 2004 to 2007, the proximity sensors market is expected to grow 4.7 percent, from $617.2 million in 2004, to $708.5 million in 2007. A 4.3 percent growth is expected in the linear displacement sensors market, with sales of $334.9 million in 2004 increasing to $380.1 million in 2007.

These sensors are used mainly in industrial automation applications as well as HVAC, medical, metrology, military/aerospace, office automation, printing, security equipment, and transportation vehicles. VDC forecasts that growth in optical-type devices will be the fastest. The North American market for photoelectric proximity sensors is expected to increase 6.1 percent through 2007, with the most growth being for infrared and laser-based products. The North American market for laser systems is expected to be the fastest growing among the linear displacement sensor products at 8.5 percent through 2007.