Low power AC drives study: investments, energy savings

ARC Advisory Group's study said low-power AC drives will see grow due to increased emphasis on energy savings and more investments in energy efficiency. "These drives offer quick payback periods due to energy savings and better process management with increased motor control," ARC said.


Recovering from a deep global downturn in 2009, the low power ac drives market rebounded in 2010. Emerging economies led growth in 2010, and they also remain important markets during the forecast period, according to a new ARC Advisory Group study. The low power ac drives market will also experience growth spurred by increasing concerns regarding energy efficiency as well as the environment. Major economies have accepted the fact that efficient use of energy is necessary for global growth and prosperity.

“The low power ac drives market will continue to grow across all regions of the world because these drives offer quick payback periods due to energy savings and better process management with increased motor control. These factors make the use of low power ac drives easier to justify even during uncertain economic periods,” according to senior analyst Himanshu Shah, the principal author of ARC’s “Low Power AC Drives Worldwide Outlook."

New infrastructure from stimulus packages

While the world economy was passing through a severely distressed phase, new stimulus packages from various governments were adding more investments in the infrastructure industries, including new road construction, water and wastewater facilities, and electric power generating plants, ARC said. This will continue to have a significant impact during the forecast period, even for past funding directed at capital projects that are now just coming to fruition, or expected to come to fruition over the next several years. Globalization also created a large demand for modern infrastructure, especially in emerging economies. Airport facilities and new road construction are driving demand for products from the metals & mining, cement and glass, and oil and gas industries. Emerging economies know that their current infrastructure is a huge bottleneck for their continuing high economic growth. Low power ac drives will benefit in this environment as they are key components for any infrastructure development and operation.

Increasing consumption from world’s rising middle class

Until recently, the world's middle class was located in Western Europe, North America, and Japan. Now a new global middle class is rising as major consumers in emerging economies around the world. The rapidly expanding middle class in Asia, Eastern Europe, and Latin America is creating a tremendous demand for new products. This offers enormous promise for industries to provide products for the burgeoning ranks of new consumers. This new middle class is purchasing products across all segments, and more importantly, ones tailored to their tastes. Consumption is expected to grow in areas ranging from consumer electronics to food & beverages. As a result, a number of industries will benefit, generating demand for more automation, including low power ac drives.

Regional scenarios

The global economy continues to expand unevenly, with emerging economies growing faster than advanced economies, and consequently, facing different challenges and risks. Global financial conditions have been generally improving, though they remain stressed in some areas. The recovery in advanced economies remains lukewarm considering the depth of the recession, and unemployment remains stubbornly high. A brief description regarding the economic scenarios for each major world area is covered in this report. In addition to the quantitative assessment, this study provides analysis of issues that will impact this business in the future.


ARC Advisory Group

- Edited by Chris Vavra, Control Engineering, www.controleng.com

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