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Tim Dawson

Tim has nearly 20 years’ experience in technology market intelligence with expertise across a broad range of industrial automation technologies and industries. Tim is now Research Director and Principal Analyst for the Interact Analysis Industrial Technology team, using his considerable experience to develop best-in-class research for the manufacturing sector. Read More

Our recent report predicts that despite a small decline in 2019 (-3.8%) the market for motion control products will grow strongly for the next four years and exceed $15bn in 2023. Slowing progress in 2019 has been the general down period impacting the manufacturing industry globally.  However, according to our recent analysis, the motion control market will outpace growth of global manufacturing production from 2020 onwards (see Figure 1). 

The positive outlook holds true despite the torrid time currently facing machine tool vendors, which as the single largest consumer of motion control products, generated over a third of motion control revenues in 2018. (See more detail in our related insight here, which provides some additional detail on the outlook for machine tools). 

Industries Driving Market Growth  

Several sectors are helping to drive a more positive outlook for motion controls, namely: food & beverage machinery, packaging machinery, robotics (including both industrial and mobile robots) and material handling equipment (especially equipment for warehouse automation and intralogistics). Together these sectors generated just under a quarter of total motion control revenues in 2018 and are forecast to account for closer to 30% in 2023. 

Other factors which are helping to drive a more positive outlook for motion controls are: 

  • The need for faster and more flexible machinery is driving demand for servo products. End-users increasingly require their machinery to be faster and more flexible, capable of handling variation in terms of package size, but also flexible in terms of the physical product being produced. Therefore, to accommodate, additional servo axes are being added to a typical machine, to offer enhanced flexibility. Furthermore, shifts in consumer buying habits are placing even greater demand for flexibility and speed at manufacturing facilities. Mass personalization, or the trend for products to have many options and customization is placing huge pressure on manufacturing lines. Rather than simply producing the same product thousands of times over, consumer demands now mean that production lines need to efficiently produce lower volumes of products; and because of the trend, production lines need to be more flexible and able to adjust physically.
  • Robotics – issues relating to labor availability and cost have been a general problem for the global manufacturing industry for a while and it’s expected to remain one of the key drivers for growth in the industrial robot market. Alongside this, the general trend towards automation to reduce costs and improve productivity in manufacturing is also having a positive pull-through effect on the market for industrial robots, and consequently the motion control products used within them. 
  • Material handling equipment – and use of motion controls in warehouse automation and intralogistics applications more specifically, for the precise movement of goods, is increasingly coupled with the trend to decentralization. This trend is manifesting and having a net positive effect on not only motion controls (for the high-precision applications), but also for low-voltage motors drives being used in simpler conveying applications – see again our related insight here. 
Decentralization Will Also Have a Positive Effect 

Further strengthening the outlook for motion control demand is the trend to decentralization, where higher-protection ratings are helping to advance the market for particular motion products; namely: servo motors with an integrated drive, and decentralized servo drives. Although even combined the opportunity is small compared to the total (representing only 2.4% of the global market in 2018), Figure 2 shows that revenues for both products are projected to experience higher growth than the rest of the market, driving their combined value to exceed $500m in 2023. 

Existing vendors already active in these markets have reported a need to broaden their portfolios by expanding the range of available torque or power ratings they offer, whilst new vendors continue to introduce new product lines to enter the market. Modular machine designs and pressure to reduce (or sometimes remove altogether) control cabinet space is fueling the opportunity for these products which can work inside a machine itself, or very close to the motor. 

In Conclusion 

Although the motion control market may be considered fairly mature and uninteresting in nature to some, there are important trends impacting its future growth helping drive revenues at an above average rate for the long-term. Couple that with product releases from new vendors, plus expanding portfolios from existing ones; and the fundamentals for this industry appear very strong, even despite headwinds in certain key sectors! 

About our Motion Controls Market Study 

Interact Analysis will shortly be publishing a new report examining the market for Motion Controls (which considers rotary servo motors, linear and torque motors; servo drives and associated position control hardware). The report’s primary author, Tim Dawson, is a known industry expert, having published multiple studies on this topic over the last two decades. The results of the study represent what is undoubtedly the most extensive set of data produced on the market to date, derived from extensive vendor research, plus a highly complex modelling exercise that takes the output from the vendor research and explodes the data to create an unprecedented level of detail and market data. If you’d like to learn more about the report or have any questions, please contact us at: info@interactanalysis.com. 

 

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Posted by Tim Dawson

Tim has nearly 20 years’ experience in technology market intelligence with expertise across a broad range of industrial automation technologies and industries. Tim is now Research Director and Principal Analyst for the Interact Analysis Industrial Technology team, using his considerable experience to develop best-in-class research for the manufacturing sector. Read More