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Motion control sales will rebound in 2014 after a poor 2013

09 January, 2014

Global sales of motion control equipment recovered slightly last year to hit a total of $12.2bn, but the growth was too weak to overcome the significant decline during 2012, leaving revenues well below their peak level of $13.2bn, achieved in 2011.

However, a new study of the motion controls market from the analyst IHS predicts that strong growth will return to the market during 2014, driving revenues to a new record high by the end of the year.

The $13.2bn peak in in 2011 followed two years during which the market expanded by more than 20% per year. But in 2012, sales were hit by the poor economic climate in the Eurozone, a weak semiconductor market in Japan, and the fallout from overproduction in China. Revenues declined in all three regions, and the global motion-control market shrank by 8.3%.

The one bright spot was the American market, which expanded by more than 5% during 2012.

IHS expects that the final results for 2013 will reveal another year of subdued growth. Stable industries – such as packaging, materials-handling, and food, beverage and tobacco – continue to propel growth in machinery production and thus, the motion control market. However, motion-control sales were constrained during 2013 by the market’s dependence on volatile industries such as semiconductors, machine tools, and robotics, which are known for their cyclic growth patterns. Large declines in these industries during 2009 contributed significantly to the severe decline in the motion-control market that year, and high growth in these industries in 2010 and 2011 helped to boost the post-recession recovery of the motion-control market.

Last year, machinery production declined globally for the semiconductor and robotics industries and grew only marginally in the machine tool industry. Together, these three industries account for about half of the revenues in the motion-control market, while the more stable industries (such as packaging, materials handling, and food and beverage) account for only 16% of revenues.

IHS forecasts that the global market for motion controls will continue to expand over the next few years
Source: IHS

IHS estimates that the motion-control market grew by about 1.8% in 2013, as small declines in the machine tools and semiconductor machinery sectors were offset by growth in the rest of the motion-control market.

The analyst is more optimistic for 2014. In the Eurozone, it expects GDP growth to accelerate and says that renewed confidence should spur investment in machinery upgrades, leading to an increase in motion control sales. In the Americas, recovery of the semiconductor machinery market will boost revenue growth in 2014, while in Asia, the machine tool market is predicted to recover.

Globally, IHS expects the motion-control market to expand by more than 8% during 2014 to reach a total of $13.3bn, thus exceeding the 2011 record high by 0.6%.

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