Servo products drive recent growth of motion-control market

APRIL 23, 2008--The global market for general-purpose motion controls was estimated to have increased by more than $480 million between 2006 and 2007, according to IMS Research (Wellingborough, UK).

APRIL 23, 2008--The global market for general-purpose motion controls was estimated to have increased by more than $480 million between 2006 and 2007, reaching an estimated value of $6208 million, according to the latest study by IMS Research (Wellingborough, UK; www.imsresearch.com). While this growth is considerably less than the 13.4% experienced in 2006, it still remains significantly higher than that of general industry. This is mainly due to the rapidly increasing market for servo products, which currently accounts for 80% of the total motion-control market.

IMS Research analyst Rob Carter comments, "The growth of the Asia-Pacific market for servo products remains primarily dictated by the growth of industry, particularly in developing regions such as China and India. However, the Western markets of EMEA and Americas are also impacted by the spread of high functionality servo products into mid-range and low-end applications."

Carter continues, "Increasing levels of factory automation have provided a major growth stimulus for the European and American motion-control market over the last few years. However, more recently three key criteria have accelerated the uptake of these products into industrial machinery. First, the marketing of user friendly servo products, built for very specific applications, has led to a widespread perception that these products are easier to install and tune. This has broadened the potential market to include machine builders with limited experience of servo drives programming.

"Second, the elimination of unnecessary functionality in products tailored for specific applications has been reflected in the prices. Since 2003 prices have fallen by up to 30% in some regions, increasing the feasibility of the servo solution. Third, increasing competition has encouraged many indigenous machine builders to make the transition from alternative technologies to customized servo products as a means of distinguishing their machinery as higher quality. These three criteria continue to help servo technology penetrate a wider variety of applications outside of the traditional high-end industries, and will remain one of the most significant contributor to the forecast 8.3% CAGR of the motion-control market to 2012."

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