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The Commercialization of Drones: An Opportunity for OEMs

Posted on 18st September, 2018 by Leo Lambert

Sustained technological development in areas such as AI and IoT continue to enable OEMs to create products that both transcend and revolutionize industries. Originally designed for military use, expanded capabilities have led to the commercialization of drones, transforming the way industries operate and even allowing new ones to emerge as a result. After analyzing the drone market and exponential adoption in various segments, it’s clear the sky truly is the limit and the increasing popularity of drones is a trend worth capitalizing on.


Where drones were once primarily used in military operations, recent technological advancements have enabled modest downsizing and enhanced features, capturing widespread public attention. According to a report by the Federal Aviation Administration, the number of commercial drones in the U.S. will total 420,000 by 2021, a significant increase from the 42,000 reported in 2016. The number of hobbyist drones is also projected to grow substantially boasting 3.5 million in 2021 from 1.1 million in 2016. With global industry revenue projected to grow from $1.6 billion in 2019 to about $2.4 billion in 2025, the growth of the commercial drone market displays near limitless potential.

Business Trends

A result of developments in AI and machine learning, many companies have begun employing drones in several industries. Where the average monthly rate of drone adoption in large companies continues to grow at 20%, some industries are taking to the sky with greater speed. Taking advantage of advanced UAV land surveying capabilities, leading cloud software platform DroneDeploy reports that the construction sector’s drone adoption is up 239% since last year followed by mining and agriculture at 198% and 172%.

New Experiences

The commercialization of drones has also influenced, and created, new customer experiences. Where photography remains the focal point of drone enthusiasts and hobbyists alike, ecommerce companies like Amazon are experimenting with drones to enhance the customer experience while improving efficiency and sustainability efforts.

The popularity of commercialized drones has also enabled the creation of new markets. Where small groups of consumers would once race their drones, professional drone racing leagues are now being awarded major financial capital and feature globally televised events.

There are currently over 727 drone start-ups averaging $5 million valuations according to start-up tracker AngelList. As industries and consumers alike continue to adopt and contribute to the rapid commercialization of drones, OEMs are racing to produce a dynamic unmanned aircraft capable of handling the unique needs of multiple industries. To ensure they can deliver and capture their share of the market, OEM’s should contact the knowledgeable professionals at EPTAC to make sure their staff receives the necessary IPC certifications and training to meet the increasing demand.


For over 30 years, EPTAC has been a leading provider of solder training and IPC certification. We provide professionals with the tools and training they need to advance their careers and improve their businesses. With 14 locations across North America, our solutions and instructional staff provide an easy access to knowledge that will enhance your business model and help you meet and exceed industry demands. For more information call 800.643.7822 or contact us.

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