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Companies in this industry provide engineering, quality control, and certification services in a variety of industries. Major companies include National Technical Systems, Wyle Laboratories, Underwriters Laboratories, and the US operations of Bureau Veritas and SGS.
The US testing laboratories industry includes about 5,000 companies with combined annual revenue of about $12 billion. Key drivers of growth include research and development (R&D) spending by manufacturers.
Testing lab services include chemical, nondestructive, mechanical, and electrical testing as well as calibration testing, thermal testing, and assaying. This industry doesn't include medical, veterinary, 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 broader range of services through multiple locations; some have strategic partnerships with major corporations. Small labs compete effectively by specializing in particular types of service. The industry is fragmented: the top 50 companies account for about 35 percent of industry revenue.
PRODUCTS, OPERATIONS & TECHNOLOGY
Testing laboratories have facilities or warehouses specifically constructed to perform tests, simulating various environments according to temperature, altitude, humidity, sunshine, dust, or explosive atmosphere. Items tested include high-technology products, electrical components, hazardous materials, automotive parts, and military items. Testing labs test products for safety; provide product and electrical certifications; and provide ...
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