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MCB and RCD market heads towards $10bn

26 February, 2014

The global market for miniature circuit-breakers (MCBs) and residual current devices (RCDs) will be worth nearly $10bn by 2018, according to a new report from IHS.

“The MCB and RCD market barely grew in 2013, relative to 2012, which was difficult for many suppliers,” reports IHS analyst, Toby Colquhoun, who expects a broad-based recovery to occur during 2014. “MCBs and RCDs are ubiquitous in a wide variety of industries. The residential sector is the most important destination for these components and a recovery in the housing market, especially in the US, will sustain high levels of industry growth. That said, all sectors are projected to grow – in particular, the machine-builder sector.”

IHS expects the growth in sales of MCBs to outpace that of RCDs because those countries where there is relatively little mandatory need for RCD protection, will grow the fastest. It predicts that RCBOs (residual-current circuit-breakers with overload protection), which combine an MCB and RCD in one package, will grow well – especially in Western Europe and Oceania – but from a low base.

According to Colquhoun, the MCB and RCD sector has a reputation for being “a little staid”, but he adds that it faces several challenges including: the introduction of AFCI (arc-fault circuit interrupter) products to the IEC world; competition from Chinese suppliers; and the influence of electronic solid-state components.

The global market for MCBs and RCDs, showing total sales (blue bars, $m on left-hand scale) and the annual growth rate (green graph, right-hand scale)
Source: IHS

The leading suppliers of these protection devices in 2012 were Schneider Electric, Siemens, Eaton and ABB.         

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