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Legislation boosts the uptake of micro-drives in Europe

13 March, 2013

Evolving energy legislation, paralleled by the need to control energy costs and improve efficiency, is boosting the uptake of micro-drives in Europe, according to a new report from Frost & Sullivan. The study, which covers AC, DC and servo drives rated up to 10kW, says that the European micro-drive market was worth $516.8m in 2012 and will reach $637.1m by 2016.

Advances in microprocessor, networking and IGBT (insulated-gate bipolar transistor) technologies have made drives more compact and user-friendly. This is encouraging more OEMs to use them in their machines, the report says. Evolving semiconductor technology has resulted in drives that can withstand high temperatures, allowing them to be mounted directly onto motors, it adds.

“Most micro electric drive manufacturers are now offering OEMs such packaged drive solutions that reduce the use of control cabinet, complex wiring and space,” explains Frost & Sullivan’s industrial automation and process control research analyst, Raaj Thilak Raveendran. “OEMs are favouring the integrated motor drive concept because it supports lower costs and project planning time.”

However, increasing commoditisation and the availability of cheaper products from Asia and Eastern Europe are threatening the market. To offset these challenges, European micro-drive manufacturers are focusing on product and service differentiation. Enhanced lifecycle support also helps to reinforce and expand the customer base.

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