Top 20 automated data capture suppliers in 2010

After a challenging 2009, the ADC market bounced back in 2010 and looks strong moving forward.
By Bob Trebilcock, Executive Editor
October 01, 2011 - MMH Editorial

In 2010, the automatic data capture (ADC) business bounced back from the recession.

The total market for industrial ADC solutions, those solutions used in factories, warehouses and logistics applications, came in at roughly $10.6 billion in 2010, according to Massachusetts-based VDC Research Group. That’s up about 17% from the $8.8 billion spent on industrial ADC in 2009. (See last year’s Top 20 ADC suppliers story.)

At least for now, 2011 is expected to be another good year, according to Drew Nathanson, VDC’s vice president of AutoID. VDC projects the industry to approach $12 billion in 2011 and grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.6% through 2015, when it is expected to reach $22.867 billion.

The ADC market includes handheld and stationary bar code scanning and imaging devices, bar code printers, consumables like bar code labels and RFID tags, RFID solutions for the supply chain and ruggedized mobile computing solutions for the factory and warehouse. VDC’s figures above do not include consumables associated with automatic data collection, such as bar code labels.

Driving that growth is a combination of geography and technology adoption. “We’re seeing growth in emerging markets like Brazil and Mexico, Eastern Europe and Asia,” Nathanson says, pointing out that the market in China grew 20% off a decent-sized install base. There has also been significant growth in the adoption of imaging technology for 2D bar codes and RFID.

VDC’s projections are supported by surveys the firm has done on ADC budgets from end users.

“While end user budgets for bar code systems declined by 53% in 2009 as a result of the recession, we’re now seeing increased ADC budget allocation in every primary vertical market,” says Tom Wimmer, VDC’s practice director for AIDC and RFID. The data suggested an 8.5% increase in budget allocations for 2010—and real results were even better—and an approximately 30% increase in 2011.

The 2010 market leaders included familiar faces: Once again, Motorola led with an estimated $1.228 billion in revenue, a 12.5% increase over 2009. Zebra Technologies placed second with $526 million. The top five spots were rounded out by Datalogic with $403.5 million, Honeywell with $380 million, and Intermec (which dropped from the No. 3 spot to No. 5) with $377.5 million. Intermec didn’t have a bad year: Revenues were up from $365 million in 2009. Rather, Datalogic and Honeywell performed better. 

With business on the ropes, most major players focused on maintaining the status quo; there were no major mergers or acquisitions in 2010, and no real departures from technologies or markets. There have been two significant acquisitions in 2011 that will impact next year’s numbers and standings: Intermec acquired Vocollect, the leader in voice recognition technology in March 2011, and Honeywell added EMS Technologies, the parent company of LXE, to its portfolio in June. Depending on how Intermec and Honeywell absorb the new companies, those acquisitions could alter the leader board next year. 

Collecting the data
This is Modern’s 10th-annual look at the leading manufacturers of ADC hardware and solutions. Because the industry includes public and private companies, this is the third year in a row that we asked VDC Research Group to compile the data: Since they are covering this technology every day, they are closer to the market.

To make our list, companies must sell in North America, though the chart includes worldwide revenues. Modern does not include resellers, systems integrators or other companies that do not manufacture ADC hardware. Since our readers are primarily focused on supply chain solutions, we do not include companies whose primary focus is the retail checkout counter or non-industrial settings, like hospitals, libraries or resorts. Nor do we include companies that only manufacture consumables like bar code labels and RFID tags.

While the overall market for ADC solutions totaled $10.6 billion, each of the industry segments experienced their own dynamics last year that may have been different from the overall market.

About the Author

Bob Trebilcock
Executive Editor

Bob Trebilcock, executive editor, has covered materials handling, technology and supply chain topics for Modern Materials Handling since 1984. More recently, Trebilcock became editorial director of Supply Chain Management Review. A graduate of Bowling Green State University, Trebilcock lives in Keene, NH. He can be reached at 603-357-0484.

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