AC Drives R&D Targeted for U.S.

Dec. 5, 2012
Vacon, a Finland-based manufacturer of AC drives, plans to open an R&D center for its high-powered AC drives in the Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina.

The high-power AC drives market which, according to ARC Advisory Group, comprises the midrange (41-200 kW), high-end (201-600 kW), and mega (>600kW) power segments, is poised for growth due to the fact that these drives often play a critical role in helping industrial companies reduce energy consumption, raise productivity, lower production costs, and cut plant operating expenses.

ARC’s report on high-power AC drives (released in August 2012) notes that “high-power AC drives suppliers are implementing various strategies in the global market to achieve strong results for a wide range of industrial segments to grow their market shares.  These suppliers are offering increasingly broader solutions to grow revenues. High-power AC drives suppliers are releasing products that fit vertical solutions in many infrastructure and process industries. The challenge in the high power AC drives marketplace is how suppliers can differentiate themselves and continue to offer increasing value propositions to end users and OEMs.”

Based on such information, it’s not surprising to hear that Vacon plans to establish an R&D center and lab for high-power AC drives in the Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina. Vacon has been developing energy-saving green technologies for nearly 20 years, and its portfolio of products now includes AC drives for controlling AC motors and electrical power converters for producing energy from renewable sources such as wind and sun. The company acquired its AC drives business from TB Wood in 2007.

Dan Isaksson, vice president of R&D at Vacon says, "We believe that focusing 100 percent on AC drives is how we can best grow."

According to the news release announcing the R&D establishment, Vacon will put more emphasis on research in its U.S. operations. "We want to be closer to research centers, universities and existing power electronic clusters. This is why we will place our R&D center and lab for high-power AC drives in the Raleigh-Durham area," says Isaksson.

Vacon also has R&D and production units in Finland, the United States, China and Italy, as well as sales offices in 27 countries.

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