SAN JOSE, CA—The market for surface mount inspection equipment totaled $403 million in 2002. Total market revenues could reach $1.1 billion in 2009.

Analysis from Frost & Sullivan's World Surface Mount Technology Inspection Equipment Market shows that the sluggish economy and weakening demand has forced manufacturers to improve quality and increase production yields. This has strengthened the market for surface mount inspection equipment.

Continuing integration of machines and software, coupled with increasing circuit density on printed circuit boards and finer pitches on components, is also driving the need for state-of-the-art inspection equipment. This forces manufacturers to buy new equipment.

Another reason for the strengthening market is the increasing number of suppliers relocating their production facilities to lower cost areas, such as China and the Asia Pacific.