The lab equipment market includes a number of technologies that are essential for laboratory scientists to perform everyday tasks but, unlike instrumentation, do not make measurements. These techniques contribute to a range of tasks from sample preparation to cell culture and everything in between. The market for lab equipment was approximately $4.4 billion in 2017, and is forecast to grow this year at a rate of 3.4%. It is expected that the market will reach $4.7 billion in 2019.
Almost half of market demand comes from the biopharmaceutical sector. The strong growth in this end-market will generally also be reflected in demand for lab equipment. However, some of these technologies, like transfection, and bioreactors and fermenters, will benefit the most, posting mid-single digit sales growth in 2018. These technologies have shown technical improvements in the last couple of years that are attractive to users.
Having a reliable source of water free from contaminants is a prerequisite for the majority of life science investigations, hence laboratory-scale water purification systems are a common solution. With only a handful of vendors in the market, the technology constitutes almost 11% of lab equipment demand, with its demand expected to grow 3.4% this year. Other relatively strong growth segments include gas generators and microwave-assisted chemistry. These are not only broadly used in the biopharmaceutical sector, but also in the environmental testing industry, which is expected to continue growing as regulations get stronger in many countries.
Thermo Fisher Scientific continues to be the lab equipment market leader, with nearly a fifth of the total market. The company plays an important role in all segments except fume hoods, microwave-assisted chemistry and lab washers. MilliporeSigma (Merck KGaA) follows, with strong sales in water purification, as well as participation in the extraction and transfection markets. Beckman Coulter (Danaher) is the leader in the largest segment, lab centrifuges.
Eppendorf has 4% of the market and is involved in 6 of the 13 technologies. Parker Hannifin offers a wide variety of gas generators, as well as consumables for the bioreactors and fermenters market. Sartorius is a leader in bioreactors and fermenters, and specializes in autoclave and single-use products.