A shift towards more precise methods of controlling is expected to attract investments in motion control solutions and fuel revenue growth. As awareness increases on the advancements in controller capabilities, ease of use, and ability to control multiple axes, advanced motion controllers are seeing uptake across Europe.
However, the high capital involved will hold back manufacturers and market growth will be characterized by moderate variations over the next few years rather than a sudden surge.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Strategic Analysis of the Advanced Motion Controllers Market in Europe, finds that the market earned revenues of $340.5 million in 2011 and estimates this to reach $520.3 million in 2018.
"The change from hydraulic and pneumatic control systems to electric and electromechanical ones - to achieve higher efficiency and precision across several key end-user industries - will underpin market growth," says Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Raaj Thilak Raveendran. "Advanced application features in motion controllers - such as wireless communication, security, reliability and networking capabilities - are expected to enable their widespread use for controlling complex applications."
However, the prices of advanced motion controllers have witnessed a steep fall over the years. The cost of any controller today is one fifth of what it was 5 years ago with similar capabilities. Intense competition amongst controller manufacturers and the threat from alternate motion control devices such as electric drives continues to put negative pricing pressure across the advanced motion controllers industry. In addition, the intrusion of low-cost Asian controllers into the European markets has reduced the profit margin of manufacturers in the region.
"While the ongoing economic uncertainty across Europe is slowing capital investments in the key end-user segments for advanced motion controllers, deterioration of economic activities in the United States and poor demand in Japan is affecting Europe's exports market," adds fellow Research Analyst Ramasubramanian Natarajan. "Nonetheless, as European economies stabilize, the demand for advanced motion controllers is expected to increase across all end-user segments beyond 2013."
Germany is expected to lead in Europe in terms of revenue contribution toward sales of advanced motion controllers, as it is home to some of the region's largest and leading suppliers and has a robust economy. Sales in process industries will keep France in second position while the Scandinavian market too will display strong growth. Italy will maintain its market share as intra-Europe demand for Italian products remains constant.
"The European significance of the United Kingdom market is expected to decline as demand for advanced motion controllers from the machine tools segment weakens," concludes Raveendran. "The persistently high value of the UK pound compounds this trend as many OEMs have moved their bases to Eastern European countries to leverage the cost benefits."