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Drives are becoming an ‘indispensable’ part of machinery

12 December, 2014

Variable-speed drives (VSDs) will be an “indispensible” part of all manufacturing equipment by the end of 2018, says a new report from the market analyst, Frost & Sullivan. It predicts that that European revenues from drives used in the discrete industries, will rise from $1.18bn in 2013 to $1.41bn by 2018.

The uptake of drives is being fuelled by their ability to deliver high energy efficiency and precise motion control, says the report. Efficiency regulations and rising electricity prices are encouraging end-users to adopt drives, it adds.

“The automotive and transportation, as well as consumer packaged goods, industries are likely to contribute a large share to market revenues in Europe,” says F&S industrial automation and process control senior research analyst, Krishna Raman. “Servodrives are expected to be the fastest-growing product segment, with key applications in machine tools, electronics and communication, and packaging.”

However, the shifting of manufacturing plants to developing economies will limit the market potential for VSDs in Europe. And the use of drives in the printing industry is also expected to fall as electronic media replace printed products.

Western Europe and Scandinavia will generate the biggest demand to retrofit drives, while a major share of revenues in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) will come from new installations.

According to Frost & Sullivan the main challenge for drives vendors in Europe is communicating the value of their products to end-users.

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