Unprecedented Growth in Global Motion Control and Motors Market during 2018

The global motion control and motors market experienced record growth last year.

Automation is transforming the manufacturing landscape, but automation is impossible without electric motors, actuators and the drives that control them.

Shipments for the global motion control and motors market in 2018 reached $3.287 billion, record growth and an increase of eight percent from 2017. The Motor Control & Motor Association (MCMA), a part of A3, stated that shipments had increased by three percent in the last quarter of 2018 to reach $946 million, contributing to the annual growth of the market.

Motors, actuators and mechanical systems and electronic drives were the largest categories in the market and grew eleven percent to $1.508 billion, twelve percent to $735 million and seven percent to $641 million respectively. The record growth highlighted the role that motion control and motor technologies played in automation. Dana Whalls, vice president of A3, said, “Motion control and motor technologies are getting smarter, more capable and more productive, and as a result, are playing pivotal roles in increasing the overall productivity of any given operation. As these technologies continue to advance, especially those targeted at progressively smaller devices, the industry will see even more growth.”

The most significant impact on the motion control and motors market is digitalization, which saves maintenance and downtime costs by providing data to identify component or machine failures before occurrence. “Digital transformation of the industrial landscape has reached an inflection point, and implementation among early adopters has given way to broader market penetration. Data is now being captured at the component, machine, line, plant and enterprise levels. Modern components simplify digitalization with built-in connectivity, memory, and processing capabilities, and edge-computing devices send data sets to the cloud where it is mined with analytics. This enables much more rapid, informed decisions,” said Whalls.

What’s the next frontier in motors and motion control?

Whalls stated that frameless motors provide better flexibility for integration into compact spaces. She believed that the increase in battery operated devices created a demand for smaller drives that don’t add weight and fit in a constrained space. Whalls also said that smaller drivers perform intelligent functions with onboard memory to act as a master controller for a network of daisy-chained drives and enables operators to clear a jam without invoking lockout tag.

Engineering.com recently also reported on the machine vision market. Check out that story here.