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25 February, 2021

Linear motors expand into new markets

11 December, 2008

Global sales of linear motor markets grew by almost 40% in the three years to 2007, when they were worth $660m, according to a newly-released report. The growth came despite a decline in investment in the semiconductor and flat panel industries, which have traditionally constituted two of the largest markets for these products.

By 2007, these markets accounted for about a third of direct-drive linear motor sales – down from 54% in 2004, says the analyst, IMS Research. The decline, resulting from much lower levels of global investment in these sectors, was exacerbated by a boom in demand from the machine tool sector and from other high-end applications, such as the medical, test and measurement, and photovoltaic machinery markets, which accounted for 10-15% of sales.

According to IMS analyst Rob Carter, the growth of these new applications sectors “undoubtedly helped cushion the blow of investment decline within the semiconductor and flat panel display machinery sectors, and has provided new opportunities for many suppliers who were previously focussed on traditional sectors.

“The fact that these markets are not directly linked to consumer markets is undoubtedly beneficial to these suppliers, especially in the current economic climate,” he adds. “This is a major factor explaining why medical, test and measurement, and photovoltaic applications are collectively expected to account for almost 20% of all linear motor revenues within the next five years.”

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