MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. -- A number of mergers and acquisitions are affecting the competitive structure of the U.S. microfiltration industry. For instance, large suppliers such as Millipore and Pall are expanding their coverage of the market through acquisition, and U.S. Filter (Vivendi) has recently entered the market through the acquisition of Memtec. This trend poses a serious threat to small and mid-sized companies who lack the resources to offer one-stop shopping.
According to new strategic research conducted by Frost & Sullivan (www.frost.com), U.S. Microfiltration Membrane Markets, revenues for the total market reached $593.1 million in 1998. Growth in 1998 was slow due to a crisis in the semiconductor industry, but despite slightly declining prices, revenues are expected to grow steadily over the forecast period 1999 to 2005.
End users are becoming increasingly price sensitive in most markets for microfiltration membranes. Increasing competition in these markets is forcing end users to cut costs to remain competitive, which is putting pressure on membrane manufacturers to produce quality products at lower prices, says Frost & Sullivan Analyst Karen Rasmussen. The microelectronic end-user segment in particular has been forced to cut costs due to the Asian crisis. In this segment, end-users are not only requiring lower prices, they are also extending the natural product life, thus reducing the replacement demand.
This price sensitivity has resulted in stagnant price increases. According to Rasmussen, in the past three to five years prices have increased less than two percent annually, compared to six to eight percent annually 10 years ago. This problem of stagnating prices conflicts with the trend for higher quality membranes. Because of the intense market competition, most manufacturers are prevented from passing their increasing production costs or R&D expenditures to end users, resulting in lower profit margins.
The microfiltration industry is highly concentrated, where one company often holds a majority share of the market. The market is composed of 21 major participants, most of which compete in multiple segments.
This new study by Frost & Sullivan, U.S. Microfiltration Membrane Markets, contains one main chapter, in which the market has been divided into six segments by the type of filtration media: cellulose membranes, nylon membranes, polytetrafluorethylene (PTFE) membranes, polyvinyldine difluoride (PVDF) membranes, polysulfone membranes and polypropylene cartridges. Both cross-flow and dead-end microfilters have been included, as well as traditional surface filtration elements and depth filters. Also provided in this research are revenue forecasts, market shares, market and technology trends, competitive issues, and strategies.
This environmental safety industry research has integrated the Market Engineering consulting philosophy into the entire research process. Critical phases of this research include: Identification of industry challenges, market engineering measurements, strategic recommendations, planning and market monitoring. All of the vital elements of this system help market participants navigate successfully through the microfiltration industry.
The companies participating in this market include: Advanced Membrane Technology, A/G Technology Corporation, Ametek, Inc. Plymouth Products Division, Clack Corporation, Corning Costar, Cuno Inc., Filter Specialists Inc., Koch Membrane Systems, Meissner Filtration Products Inc., Micron Separations Inc. (MSI), Millipore Corporation, Nalge Nunc International, Osmonics Inc., Pall Corporation, Pall Gelman Sciences Inc., Parker Hannifin Process Filtration Division, PTI Technologies Inc., Rh™ne-Poulenc Tech-Sep Division, Sartorius Corporation, Schleicher & Schuell, U.S. Filter/Memtec, Related Companies: W.L. Gore & Associates, Zenon Environmental Inc. Zenon Membrane Products Division, Whatman Inc.
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