Albany, NY -- (SBWIRE) -- 04/01/2014 -- The conductive ink and paste business is a large market that will generate $2 billion in 2014 in revenue at the ink/paste level. This market however is segmented, consisting of many emerging and mature markets. Overall, the market will experience 3.2% CAGR over the coming decade, although growth will be unevenly spread with several target markets experiencing rapid growth while others decline. This represents both opportunities as well as risk for all market participants. At the same, emerging technologies and alternatives are improving fast too, increasingly becoming price and performance competitive with mature incumbents. This too, coupled with fluctuating base metal prices, suggests that companies must develop the right technology and market strategy to benefit from this changing market landscape. IDTechEx supports your decision making by assessing each market segment and each technology in great detail; and by providing detailed market forecasts, comprehensive technology and application assessment, and thorough business intelligence on key players.
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The photovoltaic sector is a large target market for conductive paste. It however underwent a period of distress characterised by tumbling prices, bankruptcies and consolidation. This was triggered by the rapid expansion of production capacity in China and the simultaneous reduction of subsidies in Europe. In the same period however, other markets such as the touch screen and the automotive (with conductive inks/paste) sectors experienced continued growth while many others remained at a nascent or emerging state. In the background to all this, the financial crisis impacted the price of raw silver (the dominant technology), causing it to increase by 4.5 times between 2009 and 2012. These trends had huge implications for the market, strongly affecting the demand and changing its composition, while generating a global wave of interest in alternatives.
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IDTechEx fully characterises the market dynamics for each application. It finds that the photovoltaic sector will recover, registering growth. However, various plating technologies will steal market share away from silver flake paste, adversely affecting demand. Inkjet printable inks will also slowly penetrate this sector as silicon wafers thin requiring non-contact printing. The underlying incentive for uptake will however remain weak here given the low spot prices of silicon ingots, limiting growth. The touch market will continue its growth, particularly because touch capability will penetrate the notebook and monitor markets too. This will represent a growing addressable target market segment, although sputtering will continue to present stiff competition to printed bezels or edge electrodes. The metal mesh transparent conductive film technology (fine metallic grid) will also take market share away from ITO, particularly in large-area devices where a low sheet resistance really matters. This translates into demand for silver nanoparticles as fine lines (<5um) are required.
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