1995/6 MSPPSA report on Centrifugation

90 pages, 80 graphs and tables

Published: November 6, 1996

Price: $2295

A new market research report by PhorTech International takes a fresh look at market trends in centrifuge usage among U.S. life science researchers. The new report details shifts in the centrifugation market for life scientists - and determines that instrument versatility is a key success factor. The study measures a significant +20.6% annual growth in the tabletop centrifuge sector since 1990.

According to the 90 page study, over 94% of life science researchers currently use centrifugation. Detailed analysis of the market for 1995 puts centrifuge sales at over $68 million, with dollar sales of tabletop models overtaking floor-standing models. Analysis of the survey's installed base of 675 recently-purchased centrifuges results in a measured compound annual growth of +20.6% for tabletop centrifuges, and +6.0% for microcentrifuges, but a -13.3% rate for floor-standing units, a clear indication of the market trends for the coming years.

The study, which forms part of PhorTech's MSPPSA (Market Size & Share, Purchase Plans, and Supplier Assessment) series, examines the installed base of centrifuges (including separate analyses for floor-standing centrifuges, tabletop models, and microcentrifuges). There is marked contrast in unit and dollar placements per year, market sizes and growth rates for each of these categories. Unit and dollar market shares show no single market leader in all three categories and a large number of smaller players. The most-frequently mentioned instrument models and the average reported prices paid for each manufacturer are also included. Beckman's J, L and Optima models, along with DuPont/Sorvall's RC series gave this giant more than 90% unit and dollar share of floor standing centrifuges. The TL-100 and TLX models from Beckman lead the tabletop category, while For microcentrifuges, Eppendorf's 5415C and 5415 were the most popular models. Examination of just the '94 and '95 sales and a review of respondents' future puchase plans indicate the small companies most likely to succeed in the near future, and a healthy overall growth rate. Eppendorf dominated the share of microcentrifuges slated for future purchases, while Beckman led for floor-standing models. In the area of tabletop centrifuges, Jouan and IEC, two relatively small suppliers showed the most promise. Additional analyses also examine the penetration of refrigerated units into the three instrument categories and the relative popularity of various speed ranges of centrifuges.

The report analyzes the frequency of sample preparation using centrifugation, showing the diversity with which respondents separated whole cells/viruses, subcellular organelles, nucleic acids, proteins and organic phases. Scientists dealt with a wide range of sample volumes and stemmed predominantly from academia.

Customer satisfaction ratings are produced for leading manufacturers of centrifuges. Beckman and Eppendorf, the two leading suppliers, scored significantly higher than their competitors. PhorTech also examined satisfaction in terms of six key areas: ease of use, reliable quality, innovation, value for money, field service, and committment to centrifugation. Again, Beckman dominates the rankings, receiving top marks in all 6 categories. DuPont and its Sorvall line earned high scores for ease of use and reliable quality.

In the final section of the report, PhorTech itemizes specific suggestions for improvements by current users and analyzes recurring themes. Surprisingly, respondents were relatively unconcerned with pricing issues compared with noise and the quality of the rotors. However, when asked why they chose a specific brand, price was by far the most frequently mentioned factor, followed by reliability. With such a large proportion of researchers using this technique, previous experience was mentioned more often than we have seen for other instruments.

This report should be considered required reading for any company seriously intending to succeed in this competitive and evolving arena. For further information, contact Michael Eby at PhorTech International.

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