Thermal spray coatings play an important role in the field of surface protection. Threats and opportunities in the thermal spray industry include TS process developments, impact of health and safety, standardization, pre/post treatments, non destructive evaluation of coating characteristics and environment. In this paper, the European thermal spray industry size is estimated. Examples of customer requirements from typical Original Equipment Manufacturers to industry end users are also discussed. The paper provides some views on the ability of a particular spray shop to compete and grow given the market conditions. In addition, it discusses internal benchmarks used by Terolab Services. Paper includes a German-language abstract.