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Servo sales benefit from expanding `sweet spot`

01 August, 2003

Servo sales benefit from expanding `sweet spot`

The global market for servo drives will grow at a compound annual rate of 7.2% over the five years to 2006, mushrooming from $2.1bn in 2001 to $2.9bn in three years` time. This forecast is made in a new report* from the ARC Advisory Group, which adds that servo suppliers face "a unique challenge" because they are having to meet the needs of several markets at different stages of growth.

The traditional power range "sweet spot" for servo drives is expanding in both directions — into ratings below 1kW, and above 10kW. At the higher end, servo drives are capturing markets traditionally served by vector drives and fluid power technologies.

Factors helping to drive the servo market include the increasing intelligence built into drives, and the use of networking to cut commissioning times, enhance interoperability, and improve diagnostics.

ARC expects suppliers to use standard device networks for simple positioner applications. For installations involving coupled or synchronised axes, they will have to identify a standard motion control network capable of handling these duties.

The servo market will remain fragmented with a large number of suppliers, ARC predicts. These will include small, niche players providing custom-engineered systems for specific applications.

Many of the larger suppliers are continuing to acquire technology and market share through strategic acquisitions. They are trying to use these acquisitions to build coherent technology and brand strategies.

* Servo drives worldwide outlook. Price $3,900.

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