Power Electronics


Electronic Motor Drive Market Projected to Top $19 Billion by 2005

The worldwide market for electronic motor drives will grow from $12.5 billion in 2000 to $19.1 billion in 2005, according to a new market research study by Drives Research Corporation.

“Technological advances, government mandates, and globalization are fostering new growth opportunities for electronic motor drives (EMDs) that promise to reverse recent declines in revenue growth rates,” according to Thomas Kaporch, President of Drives Research, a market research and management consultant firm specializing in the fields of EMDs and electric motors.

The Table, below, shows the estimated and projected figures for 1999 to 2005.

The modern EMD industry has enjoyed tremendous growth in the four decades since its birth — more than twice that of the closely aligned electric motor industry, Kaporch said. The overall market revenue growth rate has gradually been slowing — from 35% in the 1960s to 16.6% in the 1970s, 11.3% in the 1980s, 10.2% in the early 1990s, 7.8% in the late 1990s, 5.5% in 2000, and an expected 5.3% in 2001. Both technological development and industry overcapacity are key factors in the price erosion. Other contributing problems include the decade-long economic malaise in Japan and the lingering effects of the 1997-1998 Asian financial crisis.

“The resulting severe downturn in the semiconductor and electronics industries, and the continuing economic doldrums in Europe have also taken their toll. There is increasing concern that recent diminished growth rates are symptomatic of a saturated market, one that is being served by an industry based on mature product technology, i.e., MOSFET and IGBT power semiconductors,” Kaporch said.

Electronic Motor Drives 2001-2005, recently released by DRC, is an extensive study of the EMD markets. The 1400-page study finds that while this may be largely true for industrial markets in the developed countries, advanced power semiconductors, ICs and improved control schemes and motor designs are making motor drives smaller, less costly, more efficient and more versatile enabling an ever-wider range of applications. Kaporch noted that present trends toward energy efficiency, global automation, precision control, and production flexibility indicate that the market for EMDs will continue to grow. The key question is how much, where, and of what type?

“The industrial end-market, which historically has been the major force driving EMD revenue growth, accounting for a majority of EMD revenues (e.g. 50% in 2000), is expected to account for a relatively-weak 4.4% worldwide EMD CAGR over the next five years — despite near-double-digit growth in Asia, led by China. This will result in nonindustrial markets accounting for the majority of market revenue for the first time in 2001 and nearly 60% in 2005,” Kaporch concluded.

Overall, the greatest growth will occur in the Asia/Pacific region with a 13.6% CAGR.

Further information on the new Electronic Motor Drives 2001-2005 study is available from Drives Research at: [email protected] or phone 949-487-5163.

U.S. UPS Market Grows

A new market study from the Freedonia Group (Cleveland), Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS) & Other Power Protection Systems, looks at trends in the U.S. UPS market. The study projects that the U.S. market for UPS and other power protection systems will increase more than 7% per annum (including inflation) through 2005 to $9.2 billion.

The projected market environment for products like UPS will be favorable as energy-intensive information technology systems proliferate. Also, technological innovation opens up opportunities for alternative UPS/backup power modalities (fuel cells, flywheels, and microturbines), and energy supply/demand imbalances create pressure on the utility grid.

UPS systems based on battery/inverter technology will continue to dominate power protection systems sales through mid-decade, although inherent shortcomings of batteries (short life spans, high maintenance costs, disposal problems, etc.) are opening up opportunities for other technologies. Engine-powered generator sets are finding increasing application as well, to support conventional UPS systems and as stand-alone backup supplies in high-power (e.g., facility-level) settings.

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