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MV MCC market recovery has been `painfully slow`

20 January, 2012

The recovery of the global market for medium-voltage motor control centres (MCCs) has been “painfully slow” according to a new market analysis. IMS Research reports that sales of these products declined heavily in 2009 as a result of the global recession, and recovered slowly to climb above the $140m mark in 2010, when more than 5,300 vertical sections or “columns” were shipped.

More than 60% of the global market for MV MCCs is in the US, with Canada accounting for nearly 20% of revenues. The markets in EMEA and in Asia Pacific are much smaller, together comprising only 13% of the global market in 2010.

The main reason for the market being concentrated in North America stems from the fact that end-users in the region have a different approach to systems engineering to elsewhere. In the US, for example, many OEMs and end-users are continuing to downsize their engineering expertise and relying increasingly on large automation suppliers such as ABB, Eaton, Rockwell Automation, Schneider Electric and Siemens. These suppliers represent one-stop-shops offering complete automation systems and, by selling MCCs, they take responsibility for the associated system engineering.

In other markets, the most common approach to starting and stopping MV motors is to use MV switchgear based on vacuum breakers, normally designed and installed by a panel builder, an engineering house or a systems integrator.
Pumping applications account for most of the global MV MCC market. The oil, gas and mining sectors accounted for more than half of revenues in 2010 with a value approaching $75m. Other important industries for the MV MCC sector include chemicals, commercial HVAC, power generation, pulp & paper and water & wastewater. Together, these sectors contributed another 26% of market revenues during 2010.

As in the MV soft-starters market, the highest growth for MV MCCs in the period to 2015 is expected to come from the oil, gas and mining sectors, due largely to high commodity prices that are expected to persist during this timeframe.

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