MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Feb. 14, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Several industries, including pharmaceutical, chemical, and oil and gas, are adopting miniaturized devices due to their ability to support laboratory-grade measurement for online and field applications. Currently, there is demand for miniaturized devices that enable higher accuracy and rapid analysis. The main challenges to increasing market penetration include optimally integrating these devices with other process monitoring systems, as well as the cost of implementing and maintaining them.
Recent analysis from Frost & Sullivan's ( http://www.technicalinsights.frost.com) Miniaturized Devices and Microfluidics for Process Control research finds a growing trend to push advanced miniaturized and microfluidics devices for mainstream applications in different industries. There are a few commercial products already in use for process control applications.
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"The future of miniaturized devices is in online, continuous monitoring of processes and the environment," said Frost & Sullivan Technical Insights Research Analyst Sunney Fotedar. "Among the key advantages that miniaturized devices offer industrial process control are robustness, less material wastage, reduction in analysis time, as well as high energy efficiency and enhanced safety."Once integrated with the process, miniaturized devices are extremely efficient and require limited human monitoring. Another advantage is cost, as these micro-devices are often cheaper than conventional lab-based devices. For instance, the penetration of hand-held spectrometers has risen, as these devices are comparatively less expensive than conventional spectroscopes. However, despite their numerous benefits, advanced miniaturized devices still require new data analysis software, tailor-made sampling systems, and many other sophisticated types of equipment. This means there are high costs associated with implementing, operating and integrating these micro-analytical devices with existing processes.