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Integrated motor sales set to soar by 40% by 2017

18 September, 2013

Sales of motors with built-in electronic controls will increase by 40% by 2017, according to a new report from IMS Research, now part of IHS. The study suggests that revenues from these “integrated motors” will reach $553m by 2017, up from less than $400m in 2012.

The fastest-growing technology will be brushless AC servo and DC motors, which will account for more than 70% of additional market revenues from 2012 to 2017. Last year, these products represented only 56% of total market revenues.

Market growth was limited last year by the recession in Europe, which accounts for 65% of total market revenues. Business will remain tepid this year, says IHS, after which it expects higher growth between 2014 and 2017, with the market expanding by more than 7% every year.

Despite this expansion, projected growth rates remain below historical levels. Average annual growth rates in the past have been in double digits and between 2002 and 2011, the market rose by more than 300%.

“With a much larger global market size, the amount of revenue gained in the market each year would have to increase significantly for the historical growth rates to be maintained, and this has not occurred,” explains Michelle Figgs, IHS’ motor controls and switchgear analyst. “Still, integrated motors continue to take share away from traditional motor and drive solutions, and motor suppliers are increasingly recognising the importance of including an integrated-motor option in their product portfolios to prevent loss of market share.”

A high growth market for AC brushless servo integrated motors is the packaging industry, where the motors can cut costs associated with cabling and central cabinets for large machines with numerous low- to mid-power axes.

Brushless motors are the fastest-growing segment of the integrated motors market
Source: IHS

“Another advantage of integrated motors is their compact size, which is particularly beneficial in mobile applications such as automated guided vehicles (AGVs),” Figgs adds. “The increased use of AGVs to transport materials in distribution centres and hospitals, in turn, is driving growth in the market for DC brushless integrated motors.”

Meanwhile, revenues from integrated AC induction motors is also increasing, although at a slower rate than other product types.

“AC induction integrated motors were the second-largest product type in 2012, accounting for 28.2% of total market revenue, but the transition from traditional motor and drive products in AC induction applications continues to be a slow one,” Figgs notes. Even so, phase three of the EU’s Energy-related Product (ErP) Directive is expected to boost sales in this market from 2017. The ErP is a framework for establishing minimum design requirements for energy-using and energy-related products.

Future prospects for the integrated-motor market remain positive, despite a market contraction in 2012 and limited growth this year. The total market revenue is forecast to expand at an annual average of 7.1% from 2012 to 2017, with AC brushless servo and DC brushless integrated motors leading the growth, while sales of DC stepper and AC induction motors rise more slowly than the market average.

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