24 Jul 2024


Motion control sales rose by 21.6% in 2021, and prices too

Motion control revenues ($bn, left-hand axis) and growth (%, right-hand axis), showing regional breakdowns

The global market for motion controls – including servomotors, drives and controls – expanded by 21.6% during 2021 and will grow by a further 9.1% in 2022, according new research by Interact Analysis. This growth will continue until 2026, but at a slower pace, with a CAGR of 5.5%, according to Interact.

It also reports that motion control suppliers have put up their prices in response to global supply chain shortages, particularly in the semiconductor market, and to rising raw materials costs. Average selling prices rose by 6% in the EMEA region, 7% in the Americas and 4.6% in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region during 2021, and Interact expects that these price rises will continue throughout 2022.

“Covid-19 has had – and will have – both positive and negative effects on the motion controls market,” says senior Interact research director, Tim Dawson. “In 2020/2021, the pandemic created significant demand for automation which significantly boosted the outlook for the manufacturing industry. On the other hand, the pandemic hampered the short-term growth of the motion controls market due to workplace closures and restrictions, as well as supply chain issues.

“To meet demand,” he continues, “suppliers were forced to focus on production rather than r&d. This will have a knock-on effect on future growth.

“Labour shortages have, in particular, been a double-edged sword for motion control vendors,” Dawson adds. “On the one hand, labour shortages have created a need for automation products; on the other, they have left automation vendors themselves struggling to meet demand due to a shortage of skilled staff.”

The largest market for motion controls in 2021 was metal-cutting machine tools, while the sector with the strongest growth in demand during the period to 2026 is expected to be mobile robots, with a predicted CAGR of 52%.

Asia-Pacific was by far the fastest-growing regional market in 2021, expanding by 24.7% to reach a total value of $5.17bn. China accounted for 36% of global motion control revenues last year and the Chinese market is predicted to be worth $5.33bn by 2026 – more than the entire APAC market in 2021.

The lowest growth area in 2021 was Japan where motion control sales amounted to $2.16bn. The Emea region accounted for 31% of global revenues in 2021, while the Americas achieved revenues of around $3bn.

Motion controls suppliers based in the APAC region – such as Mitsubishi Electric, Fanuc and Yaskawa – performed better in 2021 than those in EMEA and the Americas. Together, the top 10 suppliers accounted for 65% of the global market in 2021.

The Interact Analysis motion controls report covers both general motion control (GMC) and computer numerical control (CNC) technologies.

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