- since 1996 -
|NDT.net Issue - 2009-02 - NEWS |
|About 6,000 testing laboratories in the US are in operation, with combined annual revenue of around $9 billion. Major companies include National Technical Systems, and subsidiaries of major corporations such as Pratt & Whitney and Hexagon Metrology. The industry is fragmented: the top 50 firms account for only 35 percent of industry revenue. Most labs have about 10 employees; the largest have more than 1,000.
Testing labs provide a variety of engineering, quality control, and certification services by performing physical and chemical tests on products and processes. Companies perform these tests either in a lab or at the customers site. The industry doesn't include medical or pharmaceutical testing.
Demand is driven largely by industry and government spending on R&D to improve the efficiency of operations and develop new products and services. The profitability of individual companies depends on technical expertise and the ability to accurately predict project costs. Large labs have advantages in providing a larger breadth of service through multiple locations; some have strategic partnerships with major corporations. Small labs compete effectively by specializing in particular types of service. The industry is labor-intensive: average revenue per worker is less than $100,000. Testing labs compete with internal labs of major corporations and government entities.
PRODUCTS, OPERATIONS & TECHNOLOGY
Major testing lab services include chemical, nondestructive, mechanical, and electrical testing. Chemical testing accounts for about 36 percent of industry revenue; nondestructive testing (testing that doesn't ...
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