According to the most recent statistics from IMS Research (Wellingborough, UK) the world market for low voltage AC & DC motor drives is forecast to return to double digit growth in 2010, with revenues reaching $10.5 billion on 16.4 million units shipped. The motor drives market did suffer as a result of the recession, but not as severely as many other industrial automation product markets.
Total 2009 revenues are estimated to be $9.3 billion, which represents a 13.0% decline from 2008 levels. Market revenues in 2009 were just below 2007 levels, and are expected to surpass 2008 levels by 2011. Total unit shipments were estimated to be 13.9 million in 2009, which is only an 8.0% decline from 2008 levels.
As a percent decline units fared significantly better than revenues due to the product mix shift during the year from standard and premium drives to compact drives. The shift occurred as a result of customers’ increased price sensitivity due to the downturn, coupled with increased functionality of compact drives allowing them to be used in more applications. This higher functionality and lower selling prices encouraged many customers to substitute compact drives for standard and premium ones when possible.
According to market analyst Sarah Sultan, “Companies across the board have reported increased compact drives sales both during the downturn and in the recovery, causing large disparities between revenue and unit growth. As the premium drives business begins to recover over the next several months, the disproportion between revenue and unit growth is expected to diminish.”
Regionally, the Asia Pacific is forecast to overtake EMEA as the largest regional market for motor drive sales in 2010. The EMEA market is still struggling due to financial crises in various European countries as well as a persistent weakness in the Euro. Small positive growth in the region is forecast for 2010; return to double digit growth is predicted for 2011.
On the contrary, the Asia Pacific region is forecast to grow by more than 20% in 2010 after declining by only a few percentage points in 2009. The Americas region is also predicted to have a strong recovery in 2010; growth is forecast to be greater than 15% in terms of both revenues and units. Growth in a variety of industry sectors, particularly the commercial HVAC market, is driving demand for drives within the region.
Japan suffered the most significantly of the four regions from the global recession, declining in both 2008 and 2009. Recovery of the drives market in the country is predicted to be gradual, with approximately 6.4% revenue growth forecast in 2010.
Industry sector recovery is predicted to vary. Sectors related to urbanization and population growth, such as food, beverage & tobacco and water & wastewater will continue to have high demand for drives while sectors tied to large projects and/or systems, such as shipbuilding & marine and metals, will recover more gradually. In addition, these latter sectors tend to demand mostly premium drives, which are expected to recover slower than the compact and standard drive types as a result of their tie to large projects.
SOURCE: IMS Research
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