The worldwide market for servo drives is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.6 percent over the next five years, says a recent study from ARC Advisory Group, Dedham, Mass. The market was $3.07 billion in 2005 and is forecast to be more $3.8 billion in 2010, according to the study.
Servo drives are becoming a more integral part of the overall machine automation solution. Additionally, the availability of very high power servo drives will replace many actuation solutions in heavy machinery to provide improved performance.
“These high-power servo drives bring down the overall cost of machines, provide precise control, reduce operating costs and enable repeatable operations. Combining high-power servo drives with integrated machine safeguarding solutions will enable many machine builders to lower the complexity of machine automation,” according to ARC Research Director Sal Spada, the principal author of the study, titled “Servo Drive Worldwide Outlook.”
Increasing local consumer demand in developing countries for goods similar to those used in developed countries has increased the demand for high-performance servo-driven machinery. In conjunction, manufacturing centers in a wide range of industries are shifting to developing economies to take advantage of the lower costs plus the domestic demand. Many original equipment manufacturer (OEM) machine builders are also moving close to these emerging economies, the study says. These developing markets will provide high growth for servo-drive equipment that will enable manufacturers to preserve high quality and consistency of their products.
Servo drive-based solutions are now tightly aligned with lean initiatives as servo drive-based machinery is equated with greater reliability in production machinery, the study points out. This is particularly true as servo-drive suppliers continue to develop easier-to-maintain and easier-to-diagnose systems installed on production equipment.
The servo drive is now an important element of a reliability-centered manufacturing strategy. Large manufacturers are moving toward all electric manufacturing solutions. Thus, the hydraulic and pneumatic solutions that have dominated machinery applications are now steadily being replaced by all electric servo drives.
The servo drive market will continue to expand on a worldwide scale during the next five years as there will be continued infusion of capital for automation in many industries and regions driven by globalization in the automotive, food and beverage, and high tech electronics, the ARC study predicts. Globalization is increasingly causing manufacturers to allocate investments in automation in order to drive down costs and raise productivity by increasing agility and flexibility in their manufacturing operations. Servo drives are at the core of every piece of automated equipment that plays a key role in achieving higher agility and flexibility in operations.
In many ways, the growth of manufacturing in the Asian sector has driven the growth of the servo-drive market, whereas in more mature manufacturing regions in North America and Japan, the growth is a function of increasing a manufacturer’s competitive advantage through agility, the study observes.
ARC Advisory Group Inc.